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Full text of "The early Norman castles of the British Isles"

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THE EARLY NORMAN CASTLES OF 
THE BRITISH ISLES 





DOL. 



Rennes. 





DiXAX. 



Bayeux. 









7;'^ 




Hastings. 



Motte-Castles from the Bayeux Tapestry. 



[Frontispiece. 



THE EARLY NORMAN CASTLES 
OF THE BRITISH ISLES 



i 



BY ELLA S. AEMITAGE 

HONORARY FELLOW OF THE SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES OF SCOTLAND 

AUTHOR OF "THE CHILDHOOD OF THE ENGLISH NATION"; "THE CONNECTION 
OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND"; "AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH ANTIQUITIES,' 

ETC., ETC. 



WITH PLANS BY D. H. MONTGOMERIE, F.S.A. 



NEW YORK 
E. P. BUTTON AND COMPANY 

1912 



I 







# 






? LIBRARY «', 







iJULllt^ 



PREFACE 

Some portions of this book have already appeared in 
print. Of these, the most important is the catalogtie 
razsonn^ of esLvly Norman castles in England which will 
be found in Chapter VII., and which was originally 
published in the English Historical Review (vol. xix., 
1904). It has, however, been enlarged by the inclusion 
of five fresh castles, and by notes upon thirty-four others, 
of which the article in the Review gave only the names ; 
the historical notes in that essay being confined to the 
castles mentioned in Domesday Book. 

The chapter on Irish mottes appeared in the 
Antiquary (vol. xlii., 1906), but it has been revised, 
corrected, and added to. Portions of a still earlier 
paper, read before the Society of Antiquaries of Scot- 
land in March 1900, are incorporated in various parts of ^^ -^ 
the book, but these have been recast in the fuller treat- .- - ■ 
ment of the subject which is aimed at here. /A / 

The rest of the work is entirely new. No serious 
attempt had been made to ascertain the exact nature 
of Saxon and Danish fortifications by a comparison of 
the existing remains with the historical records which 
have come down to us, until the " publication of Mr 
Allcroft's valuable book on Earthwork of England. 

vii 



viii PREFACE 

The chapters on Saxon and Danish earthworks in the 
present volume were written before the appearance of his 
book, though the results arrived at are only slightly 
different. 

In Chapter V. an effort Is made to trace the first 
appearance of the private castle In European history. 
The private castle Is an Institution which Is often care- 
lessly supposed to have existed from time Immemorial. 
The writer contends that It only appears after the 
establishment of the feudal system. 

The favourable reception given by archaeologists to 
the paper read before the Scottish Society led the writer 
to follow up this Interesting subject, and to make a 
closer study of the motte-castles of Wales, Scotland, and 
Ireland. The book now offered Is the fruit of eleven 
years of further research. The result of the Inquiry is 
to establish the theory advanced in that earlier paper, 
that these castles, in the British Islands, are in every 
case of Norman origin. 

The writer does not claim to have originated this 
theory. Dr Round was the first to attack (In the 
Quarterly Review, 1894) the assertion of the late Mr 
G. T. Clark that the moated mound was a Saxon castle. 
Mr George Nellson continued the same line of argument 
in his illuminating paper on '' The Motes In Norman 
Scotland" (Scottish Review, vol. xxxii., 1898).^ All that 
the writer claims is to have carried the contention a 
stage further, and to have shown that the private castle 
did not exist at all in Britain until It was brought here 
by the Normans. 

^ Mr W. H. St John Hope arrived independently at similar conclusions. 



PREFACE ix 

The author feels that some apology is necessary for 
the enormous length of Chapter VII., containing the 
catalogue of Early English castles. It may be urged in 
extenuation that much of the information it contains has 
never before appeared in print, seeing that it has been 
taken from unpublished portions of the Pipe Rolls ; 
further, that contemporary authorities have in all cases 
been used, and that the chapter contains a mass of 
material, previously scattered and almost inaccessible, 
which is here for the first time collated, and placed, as 
the author thinks, in its right setting. It is hoped that 
the chapter will prove a useful storehouse to those who 
are working at the history of any particular castle 
mentioned in the list. 

To many it may seem a waste of labour to devote a 
whole book to the establishment of a proposition which 
is now generally adopted by the best English archae- 
ologists ; but the subject is an important one, and there 
is no book which deals with it in detail, and in the light 
of the evidence which has recently been accumulated. 
The writer hopes that such fuller statement of the case 
as is here attempted may help not only to a right ascrip- 
tion of British castle-mounds, and of the stone castles 
built upon many of them, but may also furnish material 
to the historian who seeks to trace the progress of the 
Norman occupation. 

Students of the architecture of castles are aware that 
this subject presents much more difficult questions than 
does the architecture of churches. Those who are 
seriously working on castle architecture are very few in 
number, and are as yet little known to the world at 

7 



X PREFACE 

large. From time to time, books on castles are issued 
from the press, which show that the writers have not 
even an idea of the preliminary studies without which 
their work has no value at all. It is hoped that the 
sketch of castle architecture from the loth century to 
the 13th, which is given in the last chapter, may prove a 
useful contribution to the subject, at any rate in its lists 
of dated castles. The Pipe Rolls have been too little 
used hitherto for the general history of castle architec- 
ture, and no list has ever been published before of the 
keeps built by Henry II. But without the evidence of 
the Pipe Rolls we are in the land of guesswork, unsup- 
ported, as a rule, by the decorative details which render 
it easy to read the structural history of most churches. 

My warmest thanks are due to Mr Duncan H. 
Montgomerie, F.S.A., for his generous labour on the 
plans and illustrations of this book, and for effective 
assistance in the course of the work, especially in many 
toilsome pilgrimages for the purpose of comparing the 
Ordnance Survey with the actual remains. I also owe 
grateful thanks to Mr Goddard H. Orpen, R.I. A., for 
most kindly revising the chapter on Irish mottes ; to 
Mr W. St John Hope (late Assistant Secretary of the 
Society of Antiquaries), for information on many difficult 
points; to Mr Harold Sands, F.S.A., whose readiness 
to lay his great stores of knowledge at my disposal 
has been always unfailing ; to Mr George Neilson, 
F. S.A.Scot., for most valuable help towards my chapter 
on Scottish mottes; to Mr Charles Dawson, F.S.A., 
for granting the use of his admirable photographs from 
the Bayeux Tapestry ; to Mr Cooper, author of the 



PREFACE xi 

History of York Castle, for important facts and docu- 
ments relating to his subject ; to the Rev. Herbert 
White, M.A., and to Mr Basil Stallybrass, for reports 
of visits to castles ; and to correspondents too numerous 
to mention who have kindly, and often very fully, 
answered my inquiries. 

ELLA S. ARMITAGE. 

Westholm, 
Rawdon, Leeds. 



CONTENTS 



Preface . 



PAGE 

vii 



CHAPTER I 



Introductory . 



CHAPTER II 
Anglo-Saxon Fortifications 

CHAPTER III 
Anglo-Saxon Fortifications— continued 



CHAPTER IV 



Danish Fortifications 



CHAPTER V 
The Origin of Private Castles . . . . 

CHAPTER VI 
Distribution and Characteristics of Motte-castles 

CHAPTER VII 
The Castles of the Normans in England 

CHAPTER VIII 
Motte-castles in North Wales . . . . 

CHAPTER IX 
Motte-castles in South Wales . . . . 



II 



31 



. 48 



63 



80 



94 



. 251 



273 



XIV 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER X 

MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

CHAPTER XI 

MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND . 

CHAPTER XII 
Stone Castles of the Norman Period . 

APPENDICES 

A. Primitive Folk-moots . 

B. Watling Street and the Danelagh 

C. The Military Origin of the Boroughs 

D. The words "Castrum" and "Castellum" 

E. The Burghal Hidage . 

F. Thelwall . 

G. The word "Bretasche" 
H. The word "Hurdicium" 
I. The word "Hericio" 
K. The Castle of Yale 
L. The Castle of Tullow . 
M. The Castle of Slane . 
N. The word "Donjon" 
O. The Arrangements in Early Keeps 
P. Keeps as Residences 
Q. Castles Built by Henry I. 
R. The so-called Shell Keep 
S. Professor Lloyd's "History of Wales" 

Schedule of English Castles from the Eleventh 
Index ....... 



PAGE 



351 

381 
382 
382 
383 
385 
385 
386 

387 
388 
388 

389 
390 
390 
391 
392 
392 

393 
393 

Century 396 
401 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 
AND PLANS 



FIG. 



Motte-Castles from the Bayeux Tapestry : — Dol, Rennes, Dinan, 

Bayeux, Hastings ...... Frontispiece 



FACING PAGE 



2. 

3- 

4. 

5. 
6. 

7. 



Typical Motte - Castles : — Topcliffe, Yorks ; Laughton - en - le 
Morthen, Yorks ; Anstey, Herts ; Dingestow, Monmouth 
Hedingham, Essex 

Anglo-Saxon MS. of Prudentius 

Wallingford, Berks ; Wareham, Dorset 

Eddisbury, Cheshire ; Witham, Essex 

Plan of Towcester about 1830 

Shoebury, Essex 

Willington, Beds 

8. Arundel, Sussex ; Abergavenny, Monmouth 

9. Barnstaple, Devon ; Berkhampstead, Herts ; Bishop's Stortford 

Herts ...... 

10. Bourn, Lines ; Bramber, Sussex 

11. Caerleon, Monmouth ; Carisbrooke 

12. Carlisle ; Castle Acre, Norfolk 

13. Clifford, Hereford ; Clitheroe, Lanes ; Corfe, Dorset 

14. Dover (from a plan in the British Museum, 1756) . 

15. Dunster, Somerset ; Dudley, Staffs . 

16. Durham ...... 

17. Ely, Cambs ; Ewias Harold, Hereford ; Eye, Suffolk 

18. Hastings, Sussex ; Huntingdon 

19. Launceston, Cornwall ; Lewes, Sussex 

XV 



4 

19 
28 

36 

42 

52 

59 
98 

102 
108 
114 
124 
128 
138 
144 
146 
150 
158 
164 



XVI 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS x\ND PLANS 



FIO. FACING PAGE 

20. Lincoln ........ 166 

21. Monmouth ; Montacute, Somerset ; Morpeth, Northumberland . 168 

22. Norham ; Nottingham . . . . . .172 

23. Norwich (from Harrod's Gleanings among the Castles and 

Convents of Norfolk^ p. 133) . . . . .174 

24. Okehampton, Devon ; Penwortham, Lanes ; Pevensey, Sussex . 178 

25. Oxford (from Oxonia Illustrata^ David Loggan, 1675) • • ^^^ 

26. Pontefract, Yorks ; Preston Capes, Northants ; Quatford, Salop. 188 

27. Rayleigh, Essex ; Richard's Castle, Hereford . . .192 

28. Richmond, Yorks ; Rochester, Kent . . . .194 

29. Rockingham, Northants ...... 202 

30. Old Sarum, Wilts ....... 204 

31. Shrewsbury ; Skipsea, Yorks ..... 208 

32. Stafford ; Tamworth, Staffs ; Stanton Holgate, Salop ; Tickhill, 

Yorks ........ 212 

33. Tonbridge, Kent ; Totnes, Devon ..... 220 

34. Trematon, Cornwall ; Tutbury, Staffs . . . . 226 

35. Wallingford, Berks ....... 228 

36. Warwick ; Wigmore, Hereford . . . . .232 

37. Winchester (from a plan by W. Godson, 1750) . . . 234 

38. Windsor Castle (from Ashmole's Order of the Garter) . . 236 

39. York Castle and Baile Hill (from a plan by P. Chassereau, 1750) 244 

40. Motte-Castles of North Wales : — Mold, Welshpool, Wrexham, 

Mathraval . . . . . . . . 260 

41. Motte-Castles of South Wales : — Cilgerran, Blaenporth, Chastell 

Gwalter ........ 282 

42. Motte-Castles of South Wales : — Builth, Gemaron, Payn's Castle 290 

43. Motte-Castles of South Wales : — Cardiff, Loughor . . 294 

44. Scottish Motte-Castles : — Annan, Moffat, Duffus, Old Hermitage 310 

45. Irish Motte-Castles : — Ardmayle, Downpatrick, Drogheda, Castle- 

knock ........ 336 



THE EARLY NORMAN CASTLES OF 
THE BRITISH ISLES 

CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 

The study of earthworks has been one of the most 
neglected subjects in EngHsh archaeology until quite 
recent years. It may even be said that during the first 
half of the 19th century, less attention was paid to 
earthworks than by our older topographical writers. 
Leland, in the reign of Henry VHI., never failed to 
notice the '' Dikes and Hilles, which were Campes of 
Men of Warre," nor the " Hilles of Yerth cast up like 
the Dungeon of sum olde Castelle," which he saw in 
his pilgrimages through England. And many of our 
17th- and 18th-century topographers have left us invalu- 
able notices of earthworks which were extant in their 
time. But if we turn over the archaeological journals 
of some fifty years ago, we shall be struck by the 
paucity of papers on earthworks, and especially by the 
complete ignoring, in most cases, of those connected 
with castles. 

The misfortune attending this neglect, was that it 
left the ground open to individual fancy, and each 
observer formed his own theory of the earthworks 
which he happened to have seen, and as often as not, 

A 



2 INTRODUCTORY 

stated that theory as a fact. We need not be surprised 
to find Camden doing this, as he wrote before the dawn 
of scientific observation ; but that such methods should 
have been carried on until late in the 19th century is 
little to the credit of English archaeology. Mr Clark's 
work on MedicEval Military Architecture (published in 
1884), which has the merit of being one of the first to 
pay due attention to castle earthworks, counterbalances 
that merit by enunciating as a fact a mere guess of his 
own, which, as we shall afterwards show, was absolutely 
devoid of solid foundation. 

The scientific study of English earthworks may be 
said to have been begun by General Pitt-Rivers in the 
last quarter of the 19th century; but we must not 
forget that he described himself as a pupil of Canon 
Greenwell, whose careful investigations of British 
barrows form such an important chapter of prehistoric 
archaeology. General Pitt- Rivers applied the lessons 
he had thus learned to the excavation of camps and 
dykes, and his labours opened a new era in that branch 
of research. By accumulating an immense body of 
observations, and by recording those observations with 
a minuteness intended to forestall future questions, he 
built up a storehouse of facts which will furnish 
materials to all future workers in prehistoric antiquities. 
He was too cautious ever to dogmatise, and if he 
arrived at conclusions, he was careful to state them 
merely as suggestions. But his work destroyed many 
favourite antiquarian delusions, even some which had 
been cherished by very learned writers, such as Dr 
Guest's theory of the " Belgic ditches " of Wiltshire. 

A further important step in the study of earthwork'^ 
was taken by the late Mr I. Chalkley Gould, when he 
founded the Committee for Ancient Earthworks, and 



CLASSIFICATION OF EARTHWORKS 3 

drew up the classification of earthworks which is now 
being generally adopted by archaeological writers. This 
classification may be abridged into (a) promontory or 
cliff forts, (d) hill forts, (c) rectangular forts, (d) moated 
hillocks, (e) moated hillocks with courts attached, (/) 
banks and ditches surrounding homesteads, (^) manorial 
works, (A) fortified villages. 

We venture to think that still further divisions are 
needed, to include (i) boundary earthworks; (2) sepul- 
chral or religious circles or squares ; (3) enclosures 
clearly non-military, intended to protect sheep and 
cattle from wolves, or to aid in the capture of wild 
animals.-^ 

This classification, it will be observed, makes no 
attempt to decide the dates of the different types of 
earthworks enumerated. But a great step forward was 
taken when these different types were separated from 
one another. There had been no greater source of 
confusion in the writings of our older antiquaries, than 
the unscientific idea that one earthwork was as good 
as another ; that is to say, that one type of earthwork 
would do as well as another for any date or any circum- 
stances. When it is recos^nised that laro-e classes of 
earthworks show similar features, it becomes probable 
that even if they were not thrown up in the same 
historic period, they were at any rate raised to meet 
similar sets of circumstances. We may be quite sure 
that a camp which contains an area of 60 or 80 acres 
was not constructed for the same purpose as one which 
only contains an area of three. 

We are not concerned here, however, with the 

^ In the paper on Earthworks in the second volume of the Victoria 
County History of Yorkshire^ this subdivision of the promiscuous class X., 
is used. 



4 INTRODUCTORY 

attempt to disentangle the dates of the various classes 
of prehistoric earthworks/ Such generalisations are 
for the most part premature ; and although some advance 
is being made in this direction, it is still impossible to 
decide without excavation whether a camp of class (a) 
or (d) belongs to the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, or 
the Iron Age. Our business is with classes (d) and (e) 
of Mr Gould's list, that is, with the moated hillocks. 
We shall only treat of the other classes to the extent 
which is necessary to bring out the special character of 
classes (d) and (e). 

Let us look more closely into these earthworks in 
their perfect form, the class (e) of the Earthwork 
Committee's list. They consist, when fully preserved, 
of an artificial hillock, 20, 30, 40, or in some rare 
instances 100 feet high. The hillock carried a breast- 
work of earth round the top, which in many cases is 
still preserved ; this breastwork enclosed a small court, 
sometimes only 30 feet in diameter, in rare cases as large 
as half an acre ; it must have been crowned by a 
stockade of timber, and the representations in the 
Bayeux Tapestry would lead us to think that it always 
enclosed a wooden tower.^ As a rule the hillock is 
round, but it is not unfrequently oval, and occasionally 
square. The base of the hillock is surrounded by a 
ditch. Below the hillock is a court, much larger than 
the small space enclosed on the top of the mount. It 
also has been surrounded by a ditch, which joins the 
ditch of the mount, and thus encloses the whole fortifica- 
tion. The court is defended by earthen banks, both on 
the scarp and counterscarp of the ditch, and these banks 

^ Since the above was written, Mr Hadrian Allcroft's work on Earth- 
work of England hdiS furnished an admirable text-book of this subject. 
2 See Frontispiece. 



lOo 200 Feet. 



^^><^i"",,//^ Sco/e for Plan. 



iff /S^ife^ 



^>A 






E^ 



rTo 




Scale for Section. 

TOPCLIFFE, YORKS. 



ScQ/e for Plan. 



.■>'•"'//'.'<, 
/ "''% 



r •»,' 




^1 



Sco/e for Section. 
Laughtox-ex-le-Morthex, Yorks. 





100 ZOOpggj 



Anstey, Herts. 



Scale for Sections. 

DiXGESTOW, M0^"M0UTH. 



''^^ff. 






% 



^''^/^)I?^'H'"""' 







200' 






o 100 200 300 



Hedixgham, Essex. 



Fig. I.— Typical Motte-Castles. 



\To face p. 4. 



MAIN FEATURES OF CLASS E 5 

of course had also their timber stockades, the remains of 
which have sometimes been found on excavation.^ 

These are the main features of the earthworks in 
question. Some variations may be noticed. The 
ditch is not invariably carried all round the hillock, 
occasionally it is not continued between the hillock and 
the court.^ Sometimes the length of the ditch separat- 
ing the hillock from the court is at a higher level than 
the main ditch. ^ Often the ditches were evidently dry 
from the first, but not infrequently they are wet, and 
sometimes vestiges of the arrangements for feeding 
them are still apparent. The hillock is not invariably 
artificial ; often it is a natural hill scarped into a conical 
shape ; sometimes an isolated rock is made use of to 
serve as a citadel, which saved much spade-work. The 
shape of the court is very variable : it may be square or 
oblong, with greatly rounded corners, or it may be oval, 
or semilunar, or triangular ; a very common form is the 
bean-shaped. The area covered by these fortifications 
is much more uniform ; one of the features contrasting 
them most strongly with the great prehistoric ** camps " 
of southern England is their comparatively small size. 
We know of only one (Skipsea) in which the bailey 
covers as much as eight acres ; in by far the greater 
number the whole area included in the hillock, court, 
and ditches does not exceed three acres, and often it is 
not more than one and a half.^ 

Now this type of fort will tell us a good deal about 

^ See Fig. i. 

- For instance, at Berkeley, Ewias Harold, Yelden, and Tomen y 
Roddwy. 

^ As at Rayleigh and Downpatrick. 

^ In some of these castles there is no gap in the bailey banks for an 
entrance. They must have been entered by a movable wooden stair, such 
as horses can be taught to climb. See the plan of Topcliffe Castle, Yorks 
(Fig. I). 



6 INTRODUCTORY 

itself if we examine it carefully. In the first place, 
its character is more pronounced than that of any other 
class of earthwork. It differs entirely from the great 
camps which belong to the tribal period. It was 
evidently not designed to accommodate a mass of people 
with their flocks and herds. It is small in area, and 
its citadel, as a rule, is very small indeed. Dr Sophus 
Mliller, the eminent Danish archaeologist, when dealing 
with the specimens of this class of fortification which 
are to be found in Denmark, made the luminous remark 
that '' the fortresses of prehistoric times are the 
defences of the community, north of the Alps as in the 
old classical lands. Small castles for an individual and 
his warrior-band belong to the Middle Ages." ^ These 
words give the true direction to which we must turn for 
the interpretation of these earthworks. 

In the second place, this type presents a peculiar 
development of plan, such as we do not expect to find 
in the earliest times in these islands. It has a citadel of 
a most pronounced type. This alone differentiates it 
from the prehistoric or Keltic camps which are so 
abundant in Great Britain. It might be too hasty a 
generalisation to say that no prehistoric camps have 
citadels, but as a rule the traverses by which some of 
these camps are divided appear to have been made for 
the purpose of separating the cattle from the people, 
rather than as ultimate retreats in time of war. The 
early German camps, according to Kohler, have inner 
enclosures which he thinks were intended for the 
residence of the chief ; but he calls attention to the great 
difference between these camps and the class we are now 
considering, in that the inner enclosure is of much 
greater size.^ It would appear that some of the fortifica- 

1 Vor Oldtid, p. 629. ^ Entivickelung dcs K7-legswese?is, iii,, 379. 



WHAT THESE FEATURES INDICATE 7 

tions in England which are known or suspected to be 
Saxon have also these inner enclosures of considerable, 
size (6 acres in the case of Witham), but without any 
vestige of the hillock which is the principal feature of 
class (e). 

It is clear, in the third place, that the man who 
threw up earthworks of this latter class was not only 
suspicious of his neighbours, but was even suspicious of 
his own garrison. For the hillock in the great majority 
of cases is so constructed as to be capable of complete 
isolation, and capable of defending itself, if necessary, 
against its own court. Thus it is probable that the 
force which followed this chieftain was not composed of 
men of his own blood, in whom he could repose absolute 
trust ; and the earthworks themselves suggest that they 
are the work of an invader who came to settle in these 
islands, who employed mercenaries instead of tribesmen, 
and who had to maintain his settlement by force. 

When on further inquiry we find that earthworks of 
this type are exceedingly common in France, and are 
generally found in connection with feudal castles,^ and 
when we consider the area of their distribution in the 
United Kingdom, and see that they are to be found in 
every county in England, as well as in Wales and in the 
Normanised parts of Ireland and Scotland, we see that 
the Norman invader is the one to whom they seem to 
point. We see also that small forts of this kind, easily 
and cheaply constructed, and defensible by a small 
number of men, exactly correspond to the needs of the 
Norman invader, both during the period of the Conquest 
and for a long time after his first settlement here. 

But it will at once occur to an objector that there 
have been other invaders of Britain before the Normans, 

1 See Chapter VII. 



8 INTRODUCTORY 

and it may be asked why these earthworks were not 
equally suited to the needs of the Saxon or the Danish 
conquerors, and why they may not with equal reason be 
attributed to them. To answer this question we will try 
to discover what kind of fortifications actually were 
constructed by the Saxons and Danes, and to this 
inquiry we will address ourselves in the succeeding 
chapters. 

It will clear the ground greatly if it is recognised at 
the outset that these earthworks are castles, in the 
usual sense of the word ; that is, the private fortified 
residences of great landowners. It was the chief merit 
of Mr G. T. Clark's work on Mediceval Military 
Architecture, that he showed the perfect correspondence 
in plan of these earthen and timber structures with 
the stone castles which immediately succeeded them, 
so that it was only necessary to add a stone tower 
and stone walls to these works to convert them into 
a Norman castle of the popularly accepted type. We 
regard the military character of these works as so 
fully established that we have not thought it necessary to 
discuss the theory that they were temples, which was 
suggested by some of our older writers, nor even the 
more modern idea that they were moot-hills, which 
has been defended with considerable learning by Mr 
G. L. Gomme.-^ Dr Christison remarks in his valuable 
work on Scottish fortifications that an overweening 
importance has been attached to moot-hills, without 
historical evidence.^ And Mr George Neilson, in his 
essay on ** The Motes in Norman Scotland"^ (to which 
we shall often have occasion to refer hereafter), shows that 

^ Primitive Folkmoots. See Appendix A. 

* Early Fortifications in Scotland^ p. 13. He adds an instance showing 
that Moot Hill is sometimes a mistake for Moot Hall. 
' Scottish Review, vol. xxxii. 



SEPULCHRAL HILLOCKS 9 

moot-hill in Scotland means nothing but mote-hill, the 
hill of the mote or Tnotte ; but that moots or courts were 
held there, just because it had formerly been the site 
of a castle, and consequently a seat of jurisdiction.-^ 

That some of these hillocks have anciently been 
sepulchral, we do not attempt to deny. The Norman 
seems to have been free from any superstitious fear 
which might have hindered him from utilising the 
sepulchres of the dead for his personal defence ; or else 
he was unaware that they were burial-places. There 
are some very few recorded instances of prehistoric 
burials found under the hillocks of castles ; but in 
ordinary cases, these hillocks would not be large enough 
for the mottes of castles.^ There are, however, some 
sepulchral barrows of such great size that it is difficult 
to distinguish them from mottes ; the absence of a 
court attached is not sufficient evidence, as there are 
some mottes which stand alone, without any accompany- 
ing court. Excavation or documentary evidence can 
alone decide in these cases, though the presence of 

^ Some writers give the name of moot-hill to places in Yorkshire and 
elsewhere where the older ordnance maps give moat-hill. Moat in this 
connection is the same as 7notte^ the Scotch and Irish inote^ i.e., the hillock 
of a castle, derived from the Norman-French word motte. As this word is 
by far the most convenient name to give to these hillocks, being the only 
specific name which they have ever had, we shall henceforth use it in these 
pages. We prefer it to mote, which is the Anglicised form of the word, 
because of its confusion with moat^ a ditch. Some writers advocate the 
word mounts but this appears to us too vague. As the word motte is French 
in origin, it appropriately describes a thing which was very un-English 
when first introduced here. 

2 At York, a prehistoric crouching skeleton was found by Messrs Benson 
and Platnauer when excavating the castle hill in 1903, 4 feet 6 inches below 
the level of the ground. The motte at York appears to have been raised 
after the destruction of the first castle, but whether the first hillock belonged 
to the ancient burial is not decided by the account, " Notes on Clifford's 
Tower," by the above authors. Trans. York. Philosoph. Soc.^ 1902. Another 
instance is recorded in the Revue Archaologique^ to which we have 
unfortunately lost the reference. 



10 



INTRODUCTORY 



an earthen breastwork on top of the mount furnishes 
a strong presumption of a military origin. But the 
undoubtedly sepulchral barrows of New Grange and 
Dowth in Ireland show signs of having been utilised 
as castles, having remains of breastworks on their 
summits.-^ 

1 From the report of a competent witness, Mr Basil Stallybrass. 



\ 



\ 



CHAPTER II 

ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

We have pointed out in the preceding chapter that 
when it is asked whether the earthworks of the moated 
mound-and-court type were the work of the Anglo- 
Saxons, the question resolves itself into another, namely, 
Did the Anglo-Saxons build castles? 

As far as we know, they did not ; and although 
to prove a negative we can only bring negative evidence, 
that evidence appears to us to be very conclusive. But 
before we deal with it, we will try to find out what sort 
of fortifications the Anglo-Saxons actually did construct. 

The first fortification which we read of in the Anglo- 
Saxon Chro7iicle is that of Bamborough, in Northumber- 
land. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us that in 
547 Ida began to reign in Northumberland, and adds 
that he built *' Bebbanburh," which was first enclosed 
with a hedge, and afterwards with a wall. Unfortun- 
ately this celebrated passage is merely the interpolation 
of a 12th-century scribe, and is consequently of no 
authority whatever,^ though there is nothing improbable 
in the statement, and it is supported by Nennius." 

^ Earle, Two Saxon Chronicles Parallel^ Introd., xxiii. 

2 Nennius says that Ida ^^ unxit (read cinxit) Dynguayrdi Guerth- 

Berneich" = a strength or fort of Bernicia. Mon. Hist. Brit.^ 75. Elsewhere 

he calls Bamborough Dinguo Aroy. It is quite possible that there might 

have been a Keltic di7i in a place so well fitted for one as Bamborough. 
11 



12 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

Ida's grandson Ethelfrith gave this fortress to his wife 
Bebba, from whom it received the name of Bebbanburh, 
now Bamborough. It was built without doubt on the 
same lofty insulated rock where the castle now stands ; 
for when it was attacked by Penda in 633, he found the 
situation so strong that it was impossible to storm it, 
and it was only by heaping up wood on the most 
accessible side that he was able to set fire to the wooden 
stockade.^ Modern historians talk of this fort as a 
castle, but all the older authorities call it a town ; ^ nor 
is there any mention of a castle at Bamborough till the 
reign of William II. The area of the basaltic headland 
of Bamborough covers 4f acres, a site large enough for 
a city of Ida's day. The church of St Peter was placed 
on the highest point. The castle which was built there 
in Norman times does not seem to have occupied at 
first more than a portion of this site,^ though it is 
probable that eventually the townsmen were expelled 
from the rock, and that thus the modern town of 
Bamborough arose in the levels below. Although 4f 
acres may seem a small size for an urbs, it was certainly 
regarded as such, and was large enough to protect a 
considerable body of invaders. 

Strange to say, this is the only record which we 
have of any fortress-building by the invading Saxons. 
Until we come to the time of Alfred, there is hardly an 
allusion to any fortification in use in Saxon times. ^ It 

1 Bede, H. E., iii., 16. 

2 See Bede, as above, and Symeon, ii., 45 (R.S.). 

^ We infer this from the strong defences of what is now the middle 
ward. 

'* The fact, however, that the Trinoda Necessitas^ the duty of landholders 
to contribute to the repair of boroughs and bridges, and to serve in the fyrd, 
is occasionally mentioned in charters earlier than the Danish wars, shows 
that there were town walls to be kept up even at that date. See Baldwin 
Brown, The Arts in Early Engla?id^ i., 82. 



SCANTINESS OF RECORDS 13 

is mentioned in 571 that the Saxons took four towns 
{tunas) of the Britons, and the apparent allusion to 
sieges seems to show that these British towns had some 
kind of fortification. The three chesters, which were 
taken by the Saxons in 577, Gloucester, Cirencester, 
and Bath, prove that some Roman cities still kept their 
defences. In 755 the slaughter of Cynewulf, king of 
the West Saxons, by the etheling Cyneard, is told with 
unusual detail by the Chronicle. The king was slain 
in a bur (bower, or isolated women's chamber^), the door 
of which he attempted to defend ; but this bur was itself 
enclosed in a bttrh, the gates of which were locked by 
the etheling who had killed the king, and were defended 
until they were forced by the king's avengers. Here it 
seems to be doubtful whether the burh was a town or a 
private enclosure resembling a stable-yard of modern 
times. The description of the storming of York by the 
Danes in 867 shows that the Roman walls of that city 
were still preserved. These passages are the solitary 
instances of fortifications in England mentioned by the 
Chronicle before the time of Alfred.^ The invasions of 
the Danes led at last to a great fortifying epoch, which 
preserved our country from being totally overwhelmed 
by those northern immigrants. 

The little Saxon kingdom of Wessex was the germ 
of the British Empire. When Alfred came to the throne 
it had already absorbed the neighbouring kingdoms of 
Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, and the issue hanging in the 
balance was whether this small English state would 
survive the desolating flood of pagan barbarism which 
had already overwhelmed the sister kingdoms of the 

^ See Wright, History of Domestic Manners^ p. 13. 

2 The Danish fortress of Nottingham is mentioned by the Chronicle in 
868, but we are speaking now of purely Anglo-Saxon fortresses. 



14 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

Midlands and the North. It was given to Alfred to 
raise again the fallen standard of Christendom and 
civilisation, and to establish an English kingdom on so 
sound a basis that when, in later centuries, it succes- 
sively became the prey of the Dane and the Norman, 
the English polity survived both conquests. The 
wisdom, energy, and steadfastness of King Alfred and 
his children and grandchildren were amongst the most 
important of the many factors which have helped to 
build up the great empire of Britain. 

We are concerned here with only one of the measures 
by which Alfred and his family secured the triumph of 
Wessex in her mortal struggle with the Danes, the 
fortifications which they raised for the protection of 
their subjects. From the pages of the Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle we might be led to think that Alfred's son 
and daughter, Edward and Ethelfleda, were the chief 
builders of fortifications. But there is ample evidence 
that they only carried out a systematic purpose which 
had been initiated by Alfred. We know that Alfred 
was a great builder. '* What shall I say," cries Asser, 
*'of the cities and towns which he restored, and of 
others which he built which had never existed before ! 
Of the royal halls and chambers, wonderfully built of 
stone and wood by his command ! " ^ The Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle notices the restoration of London (886),^ about 
which two extant charters are more precise.^ It also 
mentions the building of a work (geweorc) at Athelney, 

^ Asser, ch. 91, Stevenson's edition. 

2 " That same year King Alfred repaired London ; and all the English 
submitted to him, except those who were under the bondage of the Danish 
men ; and then he committed the city {biirh) to the keeping of Ethelred the 
ealdorman." A.-S. C, 886. The word used for London is Londonburh. 
Asser says : " Londoniam civitatem honorifice restauravit et habitabilem 
fecit," p. 489. 

2 Birch's Cartulariiim^ ii., 220, 221. 



FORTIFICATIONS OF ALFRED 15 

and another at Limene-muthan (doubtless a repair of the 
Roman fort at Lympne), and two works built by Alfred 
on the banks of the river Lea.^ William of Malmesbury 
tells us that in his boyhood there was a stone in the 
nunnery of Shaftesbury which had been taken out of 
the walls of the town, which bore this inscription : 
"Anno dominicae incarnationis Alfredus rex fecit banc 
urbem, DCCCLXXX, regni sui VIII."- Ethelred, 
Alfred's son-in-law, built the burk at Worcester in 
Alfred's lifetime, as a most interesting charter tells us.^ 

It may be safely assumed, then, that when Edward 
came to the throne he found Wessex well provided with 
defensive places, and that when he and his sister 
signalised their conquests in the Midlands by building 
strongholds at every fresh step of their advance, they 
were only carrying out the policy of their father. 

At the time of Alfred's death, and the succession of 
Edward the Elder to the crown (901), Ethelfleda, 
daughter of Alfred, was the wife of Ethelred, ealdorman 
of Mercia, who appears to have been a sort of under- 
king of that province.* On the death of Ethelred in 
912,^ Edward took possession of London and Oxford 
and ''of all the lands which owed obedience thereto" — 
in other words, of that small portion of Eastern Mercia 
which was still in English hands ; that is, not only the 
present Oxfordshire and Middlesex, but part of Herts, 

^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle^ 878, 893, 896. According to Henry of 
Huntingdon, the work on the Lea was the splitting of that river into two 
channels ; but I am informed that no trace of such a division remains. 

2 Gesta Pontificmn^ 186. See Appendix C. 

^ Birch's Cartulariuin, ii., 222 ; Kemble's Codex Dtplojnattcus, v., 142. 

^ He signs a charter in 889 as " subregulus et patricius Merciorum," 
Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus. See Freeman, N. C, i., 564 ; and Plummer, 
A.-S. C, i., 1 18. 

^ The dates in this chapter are taken from Florence of Worcester, who 
is generally believed to have used a more correct copy of the Anglo-Saxon 
Chro7ncle than those which have come down to us. 



16 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

part of Bedfordshire, all Buckinghamshire, and the 
southern part of Northants. The Watling Street, 
which runs north-west from London to Shrewsbury, and 
thence north to Chester and Manchester, formed at that 
time the dividing line between the English and Danish 
rule.^ It would seem from the course of the story that 
after Ethelred's death there was some arrangement 
between Ethelfleda and her brother, possibly due to the 
surrender of the territory mentioned above, which 
enabled her to rule English Mercia in greater independ- 
ence than her husband had enjoyed. Up to this date 
we find Edward disposing of the ^r^ of Mercia ; ^ this 
is not mentioned again in Ethelfleda's lifetime. Nothing 
is clearer, both from the Chronicle and from Florence, 
than that the brother and sister each ''did their own," 
to use an expressive provincial phrase. Ethelfleda goes 
her own way, subduing Western Mercia, w^hile Edward 
pushes up through Eastern Mercia and Essex to 
complete the conquest of East Anglia. A certain 
concert may be observed in their movements, but they 
did not work in company. 

The work of fortification begun in Alfred's reign had 
been continued by the restoration of the Roman walls of 
Chester in 908, by Ethelred and his wife ; and Ethelfleda 
herself (possibly during the lingering illness which later 
chroniclers give to her husband) had built a burh at 
Bremesbyrig. During the twelve years which elapsed 
between Ethelred's death and that of Edward in 924, the 
brother and sister built no less than twenty-seven biirhs, 
giving a total of thirty, if we add Chester and Bremesbyrig, 
and Worcester, which was built in Alfred's reign. Now 
what was the nature of these fortifications, which the 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle uniformly calls burhs ? 

^ See Appendix B. - A.-S. C, 910, 911. 



THE WORD BURH OR BOROUGH 17 

There is really not the slio-htest difficulty in answerincr 
this question. The word is with us still ; it is our word 
borough. It is true we have altered the meaning some- 
what, because a borough means now an enfranchised 
town ; but we must remember that it got that meaning 
because the fortified towns, the only ones which were 
called burhs or btirgi, were the first to be enfranchised, 
and while the fortifications have become less and less 
important, the franchise has become of supreme 
importance. 

Bede, in the earliest times of our history, equated 
bttrh with tcrbs, a city ; Alfred in his Orosius translates 
civitas hy biirh ;^ the Anglo-Saxon gospels of the nth 
century do the same ; ^ and the confederacy of five 
Danish towns which existed in Mercia in the loth 
century is called In contemporary records Jif btirga, the 
five boroughs.^ 

Bitrh is a noun derived from the word beorgan, to 
protect. Undoubtedly Its primitive meaning was that 
of a protective enclosure. As in the case of the words 
tuHy yard, or garth, and worth or ivard, the sense of the 
word became extended from the protecting bulwark to 
the place protected. In this sense of a fortified 
enclosure, the word was naturally applied by the Anglo- 
Saxons to the prehistoric and British ''camps" which 
they found in Britain, such as Cissbury. Moreover, it is 
clear that some kind of enclosure must have existed 
round every farmstead in Saxon times, if only as a 
protection against v/olves. The Illustrated Saxon manu- 
scripts show that the hall In which the thane dwelt, the 

^ New English Dictionary, Borough. 

' Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 942. The Aitglo-Saxon Chronicle has three 
words for fortifications, biirh,faesten, a.nd geiceorc. Burh is always used for 
those of Edward and Ethelfleda, faesten (fastness) or geweorc (work) for 
those of the Danes. 

B 



18 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

ladies' bower, the chapel and other buildings dependent 
on the hall, were enclosed in a stockade, and had gates 
which without doubt were closed at night.^ This 
enclosure may have been called a burh, and the innumer- 
able place-names in England ending in borough or bury'^ 
seem to suggest that the burh was often nothing more 
than a stockade, as in so many of these sites not a 
vestige of defensive works remains.^ We may concede 
that the original meaning of an enclostire was never 
entirely lost, and that it appears to be preserved in a few 
passages in the Anglo-Saxon laws. Thus Edmund 
speaks of rnine burh as an asylum, the violation of which 
brings its special punishment ; and Ethelred II. ordains 
that every compurgation shall take place in thaes 
kyninges by rig ; and the Rectitudines Stngularum 
Persomcm tells us that one of the duties of the oreneat 
was to build for his lord, and to hedge his bttrh.^ But 
it Is absolutely clear that even in these cases a burh was 
an enclosure and not a tump ; and it is equally clear 
from the general use of the word that its main meaning 
was 2. fortified town. Athelstan ordains that there shall 
be a mint in every burh ; and his laws show that already 
the burh has its gemot or meeting, and its reeve or 
mayor.^ He ordains that all burhs are to be repaired 

1 See the illustrations in Wright, History of Domestic Manners. 

2 Bury is formed from byrig^ the dative of burh. 

3 Professor Maitland observed: "To say nothing of hamlets, we have 
full 250 parishes whose names end in burgh, bury, or borough, and in many 
cases we see no sign in them of an ancient camp or of an exceptionally 
dense population." Domesday Book and Beyond^ 184. 

* Schmid, Gesetze der Angelsachsen, pp. 176, 214, 372. It is not 
absolutely certain that the burh in these three cases does not mean a town. 

^ Schmid, 138. Professor Maitland says : " In Athelstan's day it 
seems to be supposed by the legislator that a moot will usually be held in a 
burh. If a man neglect three summonses to a moot, the oldest men of the 
burh are to ride to his place and seize his goods." Domesday Book and 
Beyond^ 185. "All my reeves," are mentioned in the Preface to Athelstan^s 
LawSy Schmid, 126. 





£ - i ^ E ^^^ 

J I " > V* 



[Tojaccp. 19. 



BURH AND URBS 19 

fourteen days after Rogations, and that no market shall 
be held outside the town.^ In the laws of Edgar's time 
not only the borough-moot and the borough-reeve are 
spoken of, but the burh-waru or burgesses.^ Bicrh is 
contrasted with wapentake as town with country.^ 

If we wish to multiply proofs that a btirh was the 
same thing as a borough, w^e can turn to the Anglo- 
Saxon illustrated manuscripts, and we shall find that 
they give us many pictures of bttrhs, and that in all cases 
they are fortified towns/ Finally, Florence of Worcester, 
one of the most careful of our early chroniclers, who 
lived when Anglo-Saxon was still a living language, and 
who must have known what a bztrh meant, translates it 
by urbs in nineteen cases out of twenty-six.^ His author- 
ity alone is sufficient to settle this question, and we need 
no longer have any doubt that a burh was the same thing 
which in mediaeval Latin is called a btirgtcs, that is a 
fortified town, and that our word boroitgh is lawfully 
descended from it. 

It would not have been necessary to spend so much 
time on the history of the word burh if this unfortunate 
word had not been made the subject of one of the 
strangest delusions which ever was imposed on the 
archaeological world. We refer of course to the theory 
of the late Mr G. T. Clark, who contended in his 

1 Schmid, 138. " Butan porte " is the Saxon expression, port being 
another word for town ; see Schmid, 643. 

2 Schmid, Edgar III., 5 ; Ethelred II., 6. ^ Edgar IV., 2. 

^ The writer was hrst led to doubt the correctness of the late Mr G. T. 
Clark's theory of burhs by examining the A.-S. illustrated MSS. in the 
British Museum. On p. 29 of the MS. of Prudentius (Cleopatra, c. viii.), 
there is an excellent drawing of a four-sided enclosure, with towers at the 
angles, and battlemented walls of masonry. The title of the picture is 
" Virtutes urbem ingrediuntur," and urbem is rendered in the A.-S. gloss as 
burh. See Fig. 2. 

^ Florence translates burh as urbs nineteen times, as arx four times, as 
murum once, as munitio once, as civitas once. 



20 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

MedicBval Military A re kite c here '^ that the moated mound 
of class [e), which we have described in our first chapter, 
was what the Anglo-Saxons called a bicrh. In other 
words, he maintained that the burhs were Saxon 
castles. It IS one of the most extraordinary and inex- 
plicable things in the history of English archaeology 
that a man who was not in any sense an Anglo-Saxon 
scholar was allowed to affix an entirely new meaning 
to a very common Anglo-Saxon word, and that this 
meaning was at once accepted without question by 
historians who had made Anglo-Saxon history their 
special study ! The present writer makes no pretensions 
to be an Anglo-Saxon scholar, but it is easy to pick out 
the word bicrh in the Chronicle and the Anglo-Saxon 
Laws, and to find out how the word is translated In the 
Latin chronicles ; and this little exercise is sufficient in 
itself to prove the futility of Mr Clark's contention. 

Sentiment perhaps had something to do with Mr 
Clark's remarkable success. There is an almost utter 
lack of tangible monuments of our national heroes ; and 
therefore people who justly esteemed the labours of 
Alfred and his house were pleased when they were told 
that the mounds at Tamworth, Warwick, and elsewhere 
were the work of Ethelfleda, and that other mounds 
were the work of Edward the Elder. It did not occur 
to them that they were doing a great wrong to the 
memory of the children of Alfred In supposing them 
capable of building these little earthen and timber castles 
for their personal defence and that of their nobles, and 
leaving the mass of their people at the mercy of the 
Danes. Far other was the thought of Ethelfleda, when 

^ Published in 1884, but comprising a number of papers read to various 
archcEological societies through many previous years, during which Mr 
Clark's reputation as an archaeologist appears to have been made. 



THE PRIVATE CASTLE UNKNOWN 21 

she and her husband built the borough of Worcester. 
As they expressed it in their memorable charter, it was 
not only for the defence of the bishop and the churches 
of Worcester, but ''To Shelter all the Folk."^ And 
we may be sure that the same idea lay at the founding of 
all the boroughs which w^ere built by Alfred and by 
Edward and Ethelfleda. They were to be places where 
the whole countryside could take refuge during a Danish 
raid. The Chronicle tells us in 894 how Alfred divided 
his forces into three parts, the duty of one part being 
to defend the boroughs ; and from this time forth we 
constantly find the men of the boroughs doing good 
service against the Danes. ^ It was by defending and 
thus developing the boroughs of England that Alfred 
and his descendants saved England from the Danes. 

Thus far we have seen that all the fortifications 
which we know to have been built by the Anglo-Saxons 
were the fortifications of society and not of the individual. 
We have heard nothing whatever of the private castle 
as an institution in Saxon times ; and although this 
evidence is only negative, it appears to us to be entitled 
to much more weight than has hitherto been given to it. 
Some writers seem to think that the private castle was 
a modest little thing which was content to blush unseen. 
This is wholly to mistake the position of the private 
castle in history. Such a castle is not merely a social 
arrangement, it is a political institution of the highest 
importance. Where such castles exist, we are certain to 
hear of some of them, sooner or later, in the pages of 
history. 

j 1 " Eallum thaem folc to gebeorge." Birch's Cartularium^ ii., 222. 

2 Professor Maitland has claimed that the origin of the boroughs was 
largely military, the duty of maintaining the walls of the county borough 
being incumbent on the magnates of the shire. Domesday Book and Beyond^ 
189. See Appendix C. 



22 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

We can easily test this by comparing Anglo-Saxon 
history with Norman of the same period, after castles 
had arisen in Normandy. Who among Saxon nobles 
was more likely to possess a castle than the powerful 
Earl Godwin, and his independent sons ? Yet when 
Godwin left the court of Edward the Confessor, because 
he would not obey the king's order to punish the men 
of Dover for insulting Count Eustace of Boulogne, we 
do not hear that he retired to his castle, or that his 
sons fortified their castles against the king ; we only 
hear that they met together at Beverstone (a place where 
there was no castle before the 14th century)^ and 
''arrayed themselves resolutely."^ Neither do we hear 
of any castle belonging to the powerful Earl Siward of 
Northumbria, or Leofric, Earl of Mercia. And when 
Godwin returned triumphantly to England in 1052 we 
do not hear of any castles being restored to him. 

Now let us contrast this piece of English history, as 
told by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, with the Norman 
history of about the same period, the history of the 
rebellion of the Norman nobles against their young 
duke, William the Bastard. The first thing the nobles 
do is to put their castles into a state of defence. 
William has to take refuge in the castle of a faithful 
vassal, Hubert of Rye, until he can safely reach his own 
castle of Falaise. After the victory of Val-es-Dunes, 
William had to reduce the castles which still held out, 
and then to order the destruction of all the castles which 
had been erected against him.^ 

Or let us contrast the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 
105 1 with that of 1088, when certain Norman barons 

^ Parker's Domestic Architecture in England fro7n Richard II. to Henry 
VII I. y part ii., 256. 

^ A,'S. C, 1048. ^ William of Jumicges^ vii.-xvii. 



CONTRASTS IN HISTORY 23 

and bishops In England conspired against the new king, 
William Rufus. The first thing told us Is that each of 
the head conspirators ''went to his castle, and manned 
it and victualled it." Then Bishop Geoffrey makes 
Bristol Castle the base of a series of plundering raids. 
Bishop Wulfstan, on the other hand, aids the cause of 
William by preventing an attempt of the rebels on the 
castle of Worcester. Roger BIgod throws himself into 
Norwich Castle, and harries the shire ; Bishop Odo 
brings the plunder of Kent Into his castle of Rochester. 
Finally the king's cause wins the day through the taking 
of the castles of Tonbrldge, Pevensey, Rochester, and 
Durham. 

If we reflect on the contrast which these narratives 
afford, it surely is difficult to avoid the conclusion that 
if the chronicler never mentions any Saxon castles it Is 
because there were no Saxon castles to mention. Had 
Earl Godwin possessed a stronghold In which he could 
fortify himself, he would certainly have used it in 105 1. 
And as the Norman favourites of Edward the Confessor 
had already begun to build castles in England, we can 
imagine no reason why Godwin did not do the same, 
except that such a step was impossible to a man who 
desired popularity amongst his countrymen. The 
Welshmen, we are told (that Is the foreigners, the 
Normans), had erected a castle In Herefordshire among 
the people of Earl Sweyn, and had wrought all possible 
harm and disgrace to the king's men thereabout.^ The 
language of the Chronicle shows the unpopularity, to 
say the least of it, of this castle-building ; and one of 
the conditions which Godwin, when posing as popular 
champion, wished to exact from the king, was that the 
Frenchmen who ivere Z7i the castle should be given up to 

1 A.-S. C. (Peterborough), 1048. 



24 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

him/ When Godwin returned from his exile, and the 
Normans took to flight, the chronicler tells us that 
some fled west to Pentecost's castle, some north to 
Robert's castle. Thus we learn that there were several 
castles in England belonging to the Norman favourites. 

It is in connection with these Norman favourites 
that the word castel appears for the first time in the 
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. This is a fact of considerable 
importance in itself; and when we weigh it in con- 
nection with the expressions of dislike recorded above 
which become much more explicit and vehement after 
the Norman Conquest, we cannot but feel that Mr 
Freeman's conclusion, that the thing as well as the word 
was new, is highly probable.^ For the hall of the Anglo- 
Saxon ealdorman or thane, even when enclosed in an 
earthwork or stockade, was a very different thing from 
the castle of a Norman noble. A castle is built by a 
man who lives among enemies, who distrusts his nearest 
neighbours as much as any foe from a distance. The 
Anglo-Saxon noble had no reason to distrust his 
neighbours, or to fortify himself against them. Later 

^ A.-S, C, 1052 (Worcester). This castle is generally supposed to be 
Richard's Castle, Herefordshire, built by Richard Scrob ; but I see no 
reason why it should not be Hereford, as the Norman Ralph, King 
Edward's nephew, was Earl of Hereford. We shall return to these castles 
later. 

' Mr Freeman says : "In the eleventh century, the word castel was 
introduced into our language to mark something which was evidently quite 
distinct from the familiar burh of ancient times. . . . Ordericus speaks of 
the thing and its name as something distinctly French: "munitiones quas 
Galli castella nuncupant." The castles which were now introduced into 
England seem to have been new inventions in Normandy itself. William 
of Jumi^ges distinctly makes the building of castles to have been one of the 
main signs and causes of the general disorder of the days of William's 
minority, and he seems to speak of the practice as something new." N. C, 
ii., 606. It is surprising that after so clear a statement as this, Mr Freeman 
should have fallen under the influence of Mr Clark's burh theory, and should 
completely have confused castles and boroughs. 



CASTELLUM AND BURGUS 25 

historians, who were familiar with the state of things in 
Norman times, tell us frequently of castles in the Saxon 
period ; but it can generally be proved that they mis- 
understood their authorities. The genuine contemporary 
chroniclers of Saxon times never make the slightest 
allusion to a Saxon castle. 

The word castelhtm, it is true, appears occasionally 
in Anglo-Saxon charters, but when it is used it clearly 
means a town. Thus Egbert of Kent says in 765 : 
** Trado terram intra castelli moenia supranominati, id 
est Hrofescestri, unum viculum cum duobus jugeribus, 
etc.," where castellum is evidently the city of Rochester/ 
Offa calls Wermund ** episcopus castelli quod nomin- 
atur Hroffeceastre." ^ These instances can easily be 
multiplied. Mr W. H. Stevenson remarks that *'in 
Old- English glosses, from the 8th century Corpus 
Glossary downwards, castellitni is glossed by imc, that 
is town."^ In this sense no doubt we must interpret 
Asser's ''castellum quod dicitur Werham."* Henry of 
Huntingdon probably meant a town when he says that 
Edward the Elder built at Hertford " castrum non 
immensum sed pulcherrimum." He generally translates 
the burh of the Chronicle by burgus, and he shows 
that he had a correct idea of Edward's work when he 
says that at Buckingham Edward ''fecit vallum 
ex utraque parte aquae " — where vallum is a translation 
of burh. The difference between a burh and a castle 
is very clearly expressed by the Chronicle in 1092, when 
it says concerning the restoration of Carlisle on its 
conquest by William Rufus, " He repaired the borough 
(burh) and ordered the castle to be built." 

* Codex Diplo7naticus^ i., 138. ^ History of Rochester^ 1772, p. 21. 
^ Stevenson's edition ^i Asser^ 331. See Appendix D. 

* Asser^ c. xlix. 



26 



ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 



The following is a table of the thirty boroughs built 
by Ethelfleda and Edward, arranged chronologically, 
which will show that we never find a motte, that is a 
moated mound, on the site of one of these boroughs 
unless a Norman castle-builder has been at work there 
subsequently. The weak point in Mr Clark's argument 
was that when he found a motte on a site which had 
once been Saxon, he did not stop to inquire what any 
subsequent builders might have done there, but at once 
assumed that the motte was Saxon. Of course, if we 
invariably found a motte at every place where Edward 
or Ethelfleda are said to have built a btc^^k, it would 
raise a strong presumption that mottes and burhs were 
the same thing. But out of the twenty-five burhs which 
can be identified, in only ten is there a motte on the 
same site ; and in every case where a motte is found, 
except at Bakewell and Towcester, there is recorded 
proof of the existence of a Norman castle. In this list, 
the burhs on both sides of the river at Hertford, 
Buckingham, and Nottingham are counted as two, 
because the very precise indications given in the Anglo- 
Saxon C/u^onicle show that each bzcrk was a separate 
construction. 

Burks of Ethelfleda. 

A motte and a Norman castle. 

A motte and a Norman castle. 

Unidentified. 

Unidentified. 

No motte, but a Norman stone keep. 

A motte and a Norman castle. 

No motte and no Norman castle. 

No motte and no Norman castle. 

A motte and a Norman castle. 

No motte and no Norman castle. 

Unidentified. 

No motte ; a mediaeval castle (?). 



Worcester . 


. 873-899 


Chester 


. 908 


Bremesburh 


. 911 


Scaergate . 


. 913 


Bridgenorth 


• 913 


Tamworth . 


. 914 


Stafford, N. of Sowe . . 914 


Eddisbury . 


. 915 


Warwick . 


.915 


Cyricbyrig (Monk's 


Kirby) 916 


Weardbyrig 


. 916 


Runcorn 


. 916 



BURHS OF ETHELFLEDA AND EDWARD 



27 



Burks of Edward the Elder. 



Hertford, N. of Lea . 

Hertford, S. of Lea . 

Witham 

Buckingham, S. of Ouse 

Buckingham, N. of Ouse 

Bedford, S. of Ouse 

Maldon 

Towcester . 

Wigingamere 

Huntingdon 

Colchester . 

Cledemuthan 

Stamford, S. of Welland 

Nottingham, N. of Trent 

TheUvall . 

Manchester 

Nottingham, S. of Trent 

Bakewell (near to) 



913 No motte and no Norman castle. 

913 A motte and a Norman castle. 

914 No motte and no Norman castle. 

915 No motte and no Norman castle. 

915 A motte and a Norman castle. 

916 No motte and no Norman castle. 

917 No motte and no Norman castle. 

918 A motte. 
918 Unidentified. 

918 A motte and a Norman castle. 

918 No motte ; an early Norman keep. 

918 Unidentified. 

919 No motte and no Norman castle. 

919 A motte and a Norman castle. 

920 No motte and no Norman castle. 

920 No castle on the ancient site. 

921 No motte and no Norman castle. 
921 A motte and bailey. 



Out of this list of the burhs of Ethelfleda and 
Edward, thirteen are mentioned as boroughs in 
Domesday Book ; ^ and as we ought to subtract five 
from the list as unidentified, and also to reckon as one 
the boroughs built on two sides of the river, the whole 
number should be reduced to twenty-two. So that 
more than half the boroughs built by the children of 
Alfred continued to maintain their existence during the 
succeeding centuries, and in fact until the present day. 
But the others, for some reason or other, did not take 
root. Professor Maitland remarked that many of the 
boroughs of Edward's day became rotten boroughs 
before they were ripe ; " and it is a proof of the difficulty 
of the task which the royal brethren undertook that, 
with the exception of Chester, none of the boroughs 
which they built in the north-western districts survived 

^ Worcester, Chester, Tamworth, Stafford, Warwick, Hertford, 
Buckingham, Bedford, Maldon, Huntingdon, Colchester, Stamford, and 
Nottingham. 

^ Domesday Book and Beyond^ 216. 



28 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

till Domesday. In all their boroughs, except Bakeweli, 
the purpose of defending the great Roman roads and 
the main waterways is very apparent. 

Our list is very far from being a complete list of all 
the Anglo-Saxon boroughs existing in Edward's day. 
In the document known as the " Burghal Hidage"we 
have another quite different list of thirty-two boroughs,^ 
which, according to Professor Maitland, **sets forth 
certain arrangements made early in the loth century for 
the defence of Wessex against the Danish inroads."^ 
Five at least on the list are Roman chesters ; twenty 
are mentioned as boroughs in Domesday Book. There 
are two among them which are of special interest, 
because there is reason to believe that the earthen 
ramparts which still surround them are of Saxon origin : 
Wallingford and Wareham. Both these fortifications 
are after the Roman pattern, the earthen banks forming 
a square with rounded corners.^ See Fig. 3. 

To complete our knowledge of Anglo-Saxon fortifi- 
cation, we ought to examine the places mentioned in 
Anglo-Saxon charters as royal seats, where possibly 
defensive works of some kind may have existed. 
Unfortunately we are unable to learn that there are 
any such works, except at one place, Bensington in 
Oxfordshire, where about a hundred years ago *'a bank 
and trench, which seem to have been of a square form," 
were to be seen.^ 

In the following chapter we shall deal in detail with 
such archaeological remains as still exist of the boroughs 

^ Buckingham is the only place which is included in both lists. See 
Appendix E. 

^ Domesday Book and Beyond^ 188. See Appendix E. Southwark, one 
of the names, which is not called a borough in Domesday, retains its name 
of The Borough to the present day. 

^ No Roman remains have been found in either place. 

* Beauties of Ejig land and Wales^ Oxfordshire. 







Wallingford, Berks. 




Wareham, Dorset. 



Fig. 3. 



[To face p. 28. 



I 



SUMMARY OF RESULTS 29 

of Edward and Ethelfleda, but here we will briefly 
summarise by anticipation the results to which that 
chapter will lead. We see that sites defensible by 
nature were often seized upon for fortification, as at 
Bamborough, Bridgenorth, and Eddlsbury ; but that 
this was by no means always the case, as a weak site, 
such as WItham, for example, was sometimes rendered 
defensible by works which appear to have fulfilled their 
purpose. In only one case (WItham) do we find an 
inner enclosure ; and as It is of large size [g^ acres) It 
is more probable that the outer enclosure was for cattle, 
than that the inner one was designed solely for the 
protection of the king and his court. We are not told 
of stone walls more than once (at Towcester) ; but the 
use of the word thnbrian, w^hlch does not exclusively 
mean to build in wood,^ does not preclude walls of 
stone in important places. In the square or oblong 
form, with rounded corners, we see the influence which 
Roman models exercised on eyes which still beheld 
them existing. 

We see that the main idea of the borough was the 
same as that of the prehistoric or British *'camp of 
refuge," in that it was intended for the defence of 
society and not of the individual. It was intended to 
be a place of refuge for the whole countryside. But it 
was also something much more than this, something 
which belongs to a much more advanced state of 
society than the hill-fort." It was a town, a place 

^ See Skeat's Dictionary^ " Timber." 

2 Excavation has recently shown that many of the great hill-forts were 
permanently inhabited, and it is now considered improbable that they were 
originally built as camps of refuge. It seems more likely that this use, of 
which there are undoubted instances in historic times (see Caesar, Bello 
Gallico, vi., lo, and v., 21), belonged to a more advanced stage of develop- 
ment, when population had moved down into the lower and cultivatable 
lands, but still used their old forts in cases of emergency. 



30 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

where people were expected to live permanently and do 
their daily work. It provided a fostering seat for trade 
and manufactures, two of the chief factors in the history 
of civilisation. The men who kept watch and ward on 
the ramparts, or who sallied forth in their bands to fight 
the Danes, were the men who were slowly building up 
the prosperity of the stricken land of England. By 
studding the great highways of England with fortified 
towns, Alfred and his children were not only saving the 
kernel of the British Empire, they were laying the sure 
foundations of its future progress in the arts and habits 
of civilised life. 



CHAPTER III 

ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS — continued 

The bare list which we have given of the boroughs of 
Edward and Ethelfleda calls for some explanatory 
remarks. Let us take first the borous^hs of Ethelfleda. 

Worcester. — We have already noticed the charter 
of Ethelred and Ethelfleda which tells of the building of 
the burh at Worcester.-^ There appears to have been a 
small Roman settlement at Worcester, but there is no 
evidence that it was a fortified place.^ This case lends 
some support to the conjecture of Dr Christison, that 
the Saxons gave the name of Chester to towns which 
they had themselves fortified.^ The mediaeval walls of 
Worcester were probably more extensive than Ethel- 
fleda's borough, of which no trace remains. 

Chester is spoken of by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 
in 894 as **a waste Chester in Wirral." It had un- 
doubtedly been a Roman city, and therefore the work 
of Ethelred and Ethelfleda here was solely one of 
restoration. Brompton, who wrote at the close of the 
13th century ''a poor compilation of little authority,"^ 
was the first writer to state that the walls of 

^ Ante^ p. 21. 

2 Haverfield, in V. C. H. Worcester, Romano- British Worcester^ i. 
•^ Early Fortifications in Scotland^ p. 105. 

^ Gairdner and Mullinger, Introduction to the Study of English History^ 
268. 

SI 



32 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

Chester were enlarged by Ethelfleda so as to take In 
the castle, which he fancied to be Roman ; ^ and this 
statement, being repeated by Leland, has acquired con- 
siderable vogue. It is very unlikely that any extension 
of the walls was made by the Mercian pair, seeing that 
the city was deserted at the time when it was occupied 
by the Danes, only fourteen years before. But it is 
quite certain that the Norman castle of Chester lay 
outside the city walls, as the manor of Gloverstone, which 
was not within the jurisdiction of the city, lay between 
the city and the castle.^ A charter of Henry VII. 
shows that the civic boundary did not extend to the 
present south wall in his reign. Ethelfieda's borough 
probably followed the lines of the old Roman castrum. 

Bremesbyrig. — This place has not yet been identi- 
fied. Bromborough on the Mersey has been suggested, 
and is not impossible, for the loss of the s sometimes 
occurs in place-names ; thus Melbury, in Wilts, was 
Melsburie in Domesday. Bremesbyrig was the first 
place restored after Chester, and as the estuary of the 
Dee had been secured by the repair of Chester, so an 
advance on Bromborough would have for its aim to 
secure the estuary of the Mersey. It was outside the 
Danish frontier of Watling Street, and could thus be 
fortified without breach of the peace in 911. There is 
a large moated work at Bromborough, enclosing an area 
of 10 acres, in the midst of which stands the courthouse 
of the manor of Bromborough. But this manor was 
given by the Earl of Chester to the monks of St 

^ The tower called Caesar's Tower is really a mural tower of the 13th 
century. E. W. Cox, "Chester Castle," in Chester Hist, and Archceol. Soc.^ 
v., 239. 

2 Cox, as above. See also Shrubsole, " The Age of the City Walls of 
Chester," Arch. Journ., xliv., 1887. The present wall, which includes the 
castle, is an extension probably not earlier than James I.'s reign. 



BREMESBYRIG, SCERGEAT, BRIDGENORTH 33 

Werburgh about 1152, and It is possible that the monks 
fortified It, as they did their manor of Irby In Wirral, 
against the incursions of the Welsh. One of the 
conditions of the Earl's grant was that the manor is 
to be maintained in a state of security and convenience 
for the holding of the courts appertaining to Chester 
Abbey. ^ Thus the fortification appears to be of 
manorial use, though this does not preclude the possi- 
bility of an earlier origin. On the other hand. If 
Bromborough is the same as Brunanburh, where 
Athelstan's great battle was fought (and there is much 
In favour of this), It cannot possibly have been 
Bremesbyrig In the days of Edward. Another site 
has been suggested by the Rev. C. S. Taylor, in a 
paper on The Danes in GImicester shire, Bromsberrow in 
S. Gloucestershire, one of the last spurs of the Malvern 
Hills. Here the top of a small hill has been encircled 
with a ditch ; but the ditch is so narrow that it does not 
suggest a defensive work, and it Is remote from any 
Roman road or navigable river. 

ScERGEAT has not yet been Identified. Mr Kerslake 
argued with some probability that Shrewsbury is the 
place ; ^ but the etymological considerations are adverse, 
and it is more likely that such an important place as 
Shrewsbury was fortified before Edward's time. Leland 
calls it Scorgate, and says it Is ''about Severn side." * 
It should probably be sought within the frontier of 
Watling Street, which Ethelfleda does not appear to 
have yet crossed in 911. 

Bridgenorth is undoubtedly the Bricge of the 
Anglo 'Saxon Chronicle, as Florence of Worcester 
identifies it with the Bridgenorth which Robert Belesme 

1 The charter is given in Ormerod's History of Cheshire, ii., 405. 

2 Joum. of Brit, Arch, Ass., 1875, p. 153. ' ///«., ii., 2. 

C 



34 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

fortified against Henry I. in iioi.^ Bridgenorth is on 
a natural fortification of steep rock, which would only 
require a stout wall to make it secure against all the 
military resources of the loth century. We may there- 
fore be quite certain that it was here Ethelfleda planted 
her borough, and not (as Mr Eyton unfortunately 
conjectured) on the mound outside the city, in the 
parish of Oldbury.^ This mound was far more prob- 
ably the site of the siege castle (no doubt of wood) 
which was erected by Henry I. when he besieged the 
city.^ 

Tamworth was an ancient city of the Mercian kings, 
and therefore may have been fortified before its walls 
were rebuilt by Ethelfleda/ The line of the ancient 
town-wall can still be traced in parts, though it is 
rapidly disappearing. Dugdale says the town ditch 
was 45 feet broad. Tamworth was a borough at the 
time of Domesday. 

Stafford has a motte on which stood a Norman 
castle ; but this is not mentioned in the table, because it 
stands a mile and a half from the town on the southern 
side of the river Sowe, while we are expressly told by 
Florence that Ethelfleda's borough was on the northern 
side, as the town is now. Stafford was a Domesday 

1 "Arcem quam in occidentali Sabrinse fluminis plaga, in loco qui 
Bricge dicitur lingua Saxonica, y^gelfleda Merciorum domina quondam 
construerat, fratre suo Edwardo seniore regnante, Comes Rodbertus 
contra regem Henricum, muro lato et alto, summoque restaurare coepit." 

IIOI. 

2 A good deal has been made of the name Oldbury, as pointing to the 
oldburh; but Oldbury is the name of the manor, not of the hillock, which 
bears the singular name of Pampudding Hill. Tradition says that the 
Parliamentary forces used it for their guns in 1646. Eyton's Shropshire^ i., 
132. 

2 " Bricge cum exercitu pene totius Angliae obsedit, machinas quoque ibi 
construere et castellum firmare praecepit." Florence^ 1 102. 
* Florence in fact says urbein restauravit. 



EDDISBURY 35 

borough ; some parts of the mediaeval walls still remain. 
The walls are mentioned in Domesday Book/ 

Eddisbury, in Cheshire (Fig. 4), is the only case 
in which the work of Ethelfleda is preserved in a 
practically unaltered form, as no town or village has ever 
grown out of it. The burh stands at the top of a hill, 
commanding the junction of two great Roman roads, the 
Watling Street from Chester to Manchester, and the 
branch which it sends forth to Kinderton on the east. 
As a very misleading plan of this work has been 
published in the Journal of the British ArchcBological 
Association for 1906, the burh has been specially sur- 
veyed for this book by Mr D. H. Montgomerie, who 
has also furnished the following description : — 

** This plan is approximately oval, and is governed by 
the shape of the ground ; the work lies at the end of a 
spur, running S.E. and terminating in abrupt slopes to 
the E. and S. The defences on the N. and W. consist 
of a ditch and a high outer bank, the proportions of 
these varying according to the slope of the hill. There 
are slight remains of a light inner rampart along the 
western half of this side. The remains of an original 
entrance (shown in Ormerod's Cheshire) are visible in 
the middle of the N.W. side, beyond which the ditch 
and outer bank have been partially levelled by the 
encroachments of the farm buildings. The defences of 
the S. side seem to have consisted of a long natural 
slope, crowned by a steeper scarp, cut back into the 
rock, and having traces of a bank along its crest. The 
S.E. end of the spur presents several interesting details, 
for it has been occupied in mediaeval times by a small 
fortified enclosure, whose defences are apt to be confused 
with those of the older Saxon town. The rock makes a 

1 D. B., i., 246. 



36 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

triangular projection at this end, containing the founda- 
tions of mediaeval buildings/ and strengthened on the 
N.E. by a slight ditch some 7 to 10 feet below the crest ; 
the rock on the inner side of this ditch has been cut back 
to a nearly vertical face, while on the outer bank are 
the footings of a masonry wall extending almost to the 
point of the spur. There are traces of another wall 
defending the crest on the N.E. and S. ; but the 
base of the triangle, facing the old enclosure, does not 
appear to have been strengthened by a cross ditch or 
bank. 

** It may be noted that this enclosure presents not the 
slightest appearance of a motte. It is at a lower level 
than the body of the hill, and belongs most certainly to 
the Edwardian period of the masonry buildings." 

Warwick Castle has a motte which has been 
confidently attributed to Ethelfleda, only because 
Dugdale copied the assertion of Thomas Rous, a very 
imaginative writer of the 15th century, that she was its 
builder. The borough which Ethelfleda fortified prob- 
ably occupied a smaller area than the mediaeval walls 
built in Edward I.'s reign ; and it is probable that it did 
not include the site of the castle, as Domesday states 
that only four houses were destroyed when the castle 
was built.^ The borough was doubtless erected to 
protect the Roman road from Bath to Lincoln, the Foss 
Way, which passes near it. Domesday Book, after 
mentioning that the king's barons have 112 houses in 
the borough, and the abbot of Coventry 36, goes on to 
say that these houses belong to the lands which the 

^ These buildings formed part of a hunting lodge built in the reign of 
Edward III., called The Chamber in the Forest, See Ormerod's Cheshirey 
ii., 3. When visiting Eddisbury several years ago, the writer noticed 
several Perpendicular buttresses in these ruins. 

2 D. B., i., 238a, I. 




WiTHAM, Essex. 



Fig. 4. 



[To face p. 80. 



CYRICBYRIG AND WEAHDBYRIG 37 

barons hold outside the city, and are rated there. ^ This 
is one of the passages from which the late Professor 
Maitland concluded that the boroughs planted by 
Ethelfleda and Edward were organised on a system of 
military defence, whereby the magnates in the country 
were bound to keep houses in the towns.^ 

Cyricbvrig. — About this place we adopt the conjec- 
ture of Dugdale, who identified it with Monk's Kirby in 
Warwickshire, not far from the borders of Leicester- 
shire, and therefore on the edge of Ethelfleda's dominions. 
It lies close to the Foss Way, and about three miles from 
Watling Street ; like Eddisbury, it is near the junction 
of two Roman roads. There are remains of banks and 
ditches below the church. Dugdale says '' there are 
certain apparent tokens that the Romans had some 
station here ; for by digging the ground near the church, 
there have been discovered foundations of old walls and 
Roman bricks."^ Possibly Ethelfleda restored a Roman 
castrum here. At any rate, it seems a much more likely 
site than Chirbury in Shropshire, which is commonly 
proposed, but which does not lie on any Roman road, 
and is not on Ethelfleda's line of advance ; nor are there 
any earthworks there. 

Weardbyrig has not been identified. Wednesbury 
was stated by Camden to be the place,* and but for the 

1 " Abbas de Couentreu habet 36 masuras, et 4 sunt wastas propter situm 
castelli. . . . Hae masurae pertinent ad terras quas ipsi barones tenent 
extra burgum, et ibi appreciatae sunt." D. B,, i,, 238. 

^ Domesday Book and Beyond^ p. 189. See Appendix D. 

^ Dugdale's Warwickshire^ ist edition, pp. 50 and 75. The derivation 
of Kirby from Cyricbyrig is not according to etymological rules, but there 
can be no doubt about it as a fact ; for in Domesday it is stated that 
Chircheberie was held by Geoffrey de Wirche, and that the monks of St 
Nicholas [at Angers] had two carucates in the manor. In the charter in 
which Geoffrey de Wirche makes this gift Chircheberie is called Kirkeberia 
\^M. A., vi., 996], but in the subsequent charter of Roger de Mowbray, confirm- 
ing the gift, it is called Kirkeby. * Britannia^ ii., 375. 



38 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

impossibility of the etymology, the situation would suit 
well enough. Weardbyrig must have been an important 
place, for It had a mlnt.^ Warburton, on the Mersey, 
has been gravely suggested, but Is Impossible, as it takes 
its name from St Werburgh. 

Runcorn has not a vestige to show of Ethelfleda's 
borough ; but local historians have preserved some rather 
vague accounts of a promontory fort which once existed 
at the point where the London and North- Western 
Railway bridge enters the river. A rocky headland 
formerly projected here into the Mersey, narrowing Its 
course to 400 yards at high water ; a ditch with a 
circular curve cut off this headland from the shore. 
This ditch, from 12 to 16 feet wide, with an inner bank 
6 or 7 feet high, could still be traced In the early part of 
the 19th century. Eighteen feet of the headland were 
cut off when the Duke of Bridgewater made his canal in 
1773, and the ditch was obliterated when the railway 
bridge was built. From the measurements which have 
been preserved, the area of this fort must have been very 
small, not exceeding 3 acres at the outside ; ^ and it Is 
unlikely that It represented Ethelfleda's borough, as the 
church, which was of pre-Conquest foundation, stood 
outside its bounds, and we should certainly have 
expected to find it within. As the Norman earls of 
Chester established a ferry at Runcorn in the 12th 
century, and as a castle at Runcorn is spoken of In a 
mediaeval document,^ It seems not Impossible that there 
may have been a Norman castle on this site, as we 

^ Numismatic Chronicle^ 3rd S., xiii., 220. 

2 Fowler^s History of Runcorn gives a plan of this fort, and there is 
another in Hanshall's History of Cheshire, ^i. 418(1817). A very different 
one is given in Beaumont's History of Hal ton. 

^ Beaumont's Records of the Honour of Halton. In 1368, John Hank 
received the surrender of a house near to the castle in Runcorn. 



HERTFORD AND WITHAM 3d 

constantly find such small fortifications placed to defend 
a ferry or ford. It is probable that Ethelfleda's borough 
was destroyed at an early period by the Northmen, for 
Runcorn was not a borough at Domesday, but was then 
a mere dependency of the Honour of Halton. 

The Burhs of Edward the Elder. 

Hertford. — Two burhs were built by Edward at 
Hertford in 913, one on the north and the other on the 
south side of the river Lea. Therefore if a burh were 
the same thing as a motte, there ought to be two mottes 
at Hertford, one on each side of the river ; whereas there 
is only one, and that form.s part of the works of the 
Norman castle. Mr Clark, with his usual confidence, 
says that the northern mound has "long been laid 
low";^ but there is not the slightest proof that it ever 
existed except in his imagination. Hertford was a 
borough at the time of Domesday. No earthworks 
remain. 

WiTHAM (Fig. 4). — There are some remains of a 
burh here which are very remarkable, as they show an 
inner enclosure within the outer one. They have been 
carefully surveyed by Mr F. C. J. Spurrell, who has 
published a plan of them.^ Each enclosure formed 
roughly a square with much-rounded corners. The 
ditch round the outer work was 30 feet wide ; the inner 
work was not ditched. The area enclosed by the outer 
bank was 26J acres, an enclosure much too large for a 
castle ; the area of the inner enclosure was 9|- acres. 
As far as is at present known, Witham is the only 
instance we have of an Anglo-Saxon earthwork which 

^ Medi(2val Military Architecture^ ii., 120. 
^ Essex Naturalist^ January 1887. 



40 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

has a double enclosure/ WItham is not mentioned as 
a borough in Domesday Book, but the fact that it had 
a mint in the days of Hardicanute shows that it 
maintained its borough rights for more than a hundred 
years. The name Chipping Hill points to a market 
within the borough. 

Buckingham is another case where a burh was built 
on both sides of the river, and as at Hertford, there 
was only one motte, the site of the castle of the Norman 
Giffards is now almost obliterated. The river Ouse 
here makes a long narrow loop to the south-west, 
within which stands the town, and, without doubt, 
this would be the site of Edward's borough. No trace 
is left of the second borough on the other side of 
the river. Buckingham is one of the boroughs of 
Domesday. 

Bedford has had a motte and a Norman castle on 
the north side of the Ouse ; but this was not the site of 
Edward's borough, which the Chronicle tells us was placed 
on the south side of that river. On the south side an 
ancient ditch, lo or 12 feet broad, with some traces of 
an inner rampart, semicircular in plan, but with a square 
extension, is still visible, and fills with water at flood 
times. ^ This is very likely to be the ditch of Edward's 
borouo^h. Both at Bedford and Buckinorham the 
Ch7'onicle states that Edward spent four w^eeks in build- 
ing the burh. Mediaeval numbers must never be taken 
as precise ; but the disproportion between four weeks 
and eight days, the space often given for the building 
of an early Norman castle, corresponds very well to the 
difference between the time needed to throw up the bank 

1 Danbury Camp, which has also been surveyed by Mr Spurrell {Essex 
Naturalist^ 1890), is precisely similar in plan to Witham, but nothing is 
known of its history. 

' See Victoria History of Bedfordshire^ i., 281. 



MALDON, TOWCESTER, WIGINGAMERE 41 

and stockade of a town, and that needed for the building 
of an earthen and wooden castle. 

Maldgn.- — Only one angle of the earthen bank of 
Edward's borough remains now, but Gough states 
that it was an oblong camp enclosing about 22 acres. ^ 
It had rounded corners and a very wide ditch, with a 
bank on both scarp and counterscarp. Maldon was a 
borough at Domesday ; ^ the king had a hall there, but 
there was never any castle, nor is there any trace of a 
motte. 

TowcESTER (Fig. 5). — There is a motte at Towcester, 
but no direct evidence has yet been found for the 
existence of a Norman castle there, though Leland says 
that he was told of '' certen Ruines or Diches of a 
Castelle." ^ There was a mill and an oven to which 
the citizens owed soke,* and the value of the manor, 
which belonged to the king, had risen very greatly since 
the Conquest ; ^ all facts which render the existence of a 
Norman castle extremely likely. But there can be no 
question as to the nature of Edward's work at Towcester, 
as the Chronicle tells us expressly that **he wrought the 
burgh at Towcester with a stone wall."^ Towcester lies 
on Watling Street, and is believed to have been the 
Roman station of Lactodorum. Baker gives a plan of 
the remains existing in his time, which may either be 
those of the Roman castrum or of Edward's borough.^ 
The area is stated to be about 35 acres. 

WiGiNGAMERE. — This place is not yet identified, for 

1 Morant's History of Essex^ i. Three sides of the rampart were visible 
in his time. 

'^ D. B., ii., 5. 3 jtin., i., 12. 

* Baker's History of Northampton^ ii , 321. ^ D. B., i., 219b. 

^ A.-S. C, 921. "Wrohte tha burg ast Tofeceastre mid stan wealle." 
Florence says 918. 

" Baker, History of Northants, ii., 318. See also Haverfield, V. C. H.^ 
Northants, i., 184. 



42 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

the identification with Wigmorein Herefordshire, though 
accepted by many respectable writers, will not stand a 
moment's examination. Wigmore was entirely out of 
Edward's beat, and he had far too much on his hands 
in 918 to attempt a campaign in Herefordshire. As 
Wigingamere appears to have specially drawn upon 
itself the wrath of East Anglian and Essex Danes, it 
must have lain somewhere in their neighbourhood. The 
mere which is included in the name would seem to point 
to that great inland water which anciently stretched 
southwards from the Wash into Cambridgeshire. The 
only approach to East Anglia from the south lay along 
a strip of open chalk land which lay between the great 
swamp and the dense forests which grew east of it.^ 
Here ran the ancient road called the Icknield way. On 
a peninsula which now runs out into the great fens of 
the Cam and the Ouse there is still a village called 
Wicken, 6 miles west of the Roman road ; and possibly, 
when the land surrounding this peninsula was under 
water, this bight may have been called Wigingamere. 
This suggestion of course is merely tentative, but what 
gives it some probability is that the Danish army which 
attacked "the borough at Wigingamere" came from 
East Anglia as well as Mercia.^ 

Huntingdon. — The borough of Huntingdon was 
probably first built by the Danes, as it was only 
repaired by Edward. In Leland's time there were still 
some remains of the walls ''in places." Huntingdon is 
one of the burgi of Domesday. 

Colchester. — This of course was a Roman site, and 
Edward needed only to restore the walls, as the 

^ Atkinson's Cambridge Described^ p. i. 

2 There is, however, this difficulty, that Cambridge was still occupied by a 
Danish force when Wigingamere was built. It submitted to Edward in 918. 




Fig. 5. — Plan of Towcester abolt 183c. 



[To face p. 42. 



COLCHESTER AND CLEDEMUTHAN 43 

Chronicle Indicates. Colchester was placed so as to 
defend the river Colne, just as Maldon defended the 
estuary of the Blackwater. As the repair of Colchester 
and the successful defence of Wiglngamere were 
followed the same year by the submission of East 
Anglla, it seems not unlikely that Edward's various 
forces may have made a simultaneous advance, along 
the coast, and along the Roman road by the Fen 
country ; but this of course is the merest conjecture, as 
the Chronicle gives us no details of this very important 
event. 

Cledemuthan. — This place is only mentioned in the 
Abingdon MS. of the Chronicle, but the year 921 is the 
date given for Its building. This date should probably 
be transposed to 918, the year In which, according to 
Florence, Edward subjugated East Anglla. It Is well 
known how confused the chronology of the various 
versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is during the 
reign of Edward the Elder.^ Cley, in Norfolk, would 
be etymologically deduclble from Clede (the d being 
frequently dropped, especially In Scandinavian districts), 
and the muthan points to some river estuary. Cley is 
one of the few havens on the north coast of Norfolk, 
and its importance in former times was much greater 
than now, as is shown not only by the spaciousness of 
its Early English church, but by the fact that the port 
has jurisdiction for 30 miles along the coast.^ It would 
be highly probable that Edward completed the subjuga- 
tion of East Anglla by planting a borough at some 
important point. But as the real date of the fortifica- 

^ See Mr Plummer's discussion of these variations in his edition of the 
Chronicle, ii., 116. 

^ Lewis, Topographical Dictionary of England. Mr Rye remarks : — 
" The silting up of the harbour has ruined a port which once promised to be 
of as great importance as Norwich." History of Norfolk, p. 228. 



44 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

tion of Cledemuthan is uncertain, we must be content to 
leave this matter in abeyance.^ 

Stamford is another case where the borough is 
clearly said to have been on the side which is opposite 
to the one where the Norman castle stands. Edward's 
borough was on the south side, the motte and other 
remains of the Norman castle are on the north of the 
Welland. It is remarkable that the part of Stamford 
on the south side of the Welland is still a distinct 
liberty ; it is mentioned in Domesday as the sixth ward 
of the borough. The line of the earthworks can still be 
traced in parts. The borough on the north side of the 
Welland was probably first walled in by the Danes, as 
it was one of the Five Boroughs — Stamford, Leicester, 
Lincoln, Nottingham, and Derby — which appear to have 
formed an independent or semi-independent state in 
middle England.^ Stamford is a borough in Domesday. 

Nottingham. — The first mention of a fortress In 
connection with Nottingham seems to suggest that it 
owed its origin to the Danes. In 868 the Danish host 
which had taken possession of York in the previous 
year ''went into Mercia to Nottingham, and there took 
up their winter quarters. And Burgraed king of Mercia 

^ It is really wonderful that the identification of Cledemuthan with the 
mouth of the Cleddy in Pembrokeshire could ever have been accepted by 
any sober historian. That Edward, whose whole time was fully occupied 
with his conquests from the Danish settlers, could have suddenly trans- 
ported his forces into one of the remotest corners of Wales, would have been 
a feat worthy of the coming days of air-ships. William of Worcester has 
preserved a tradition that Edward repaired Burgh, "quae olim Saxonice 
dicebatur Burgh-chester," but he confuses it with Norwich. Itinararium^ 
337. Is it possible that we ought to look for Cledemuthan at Burgh Castle, 
at the mouth of the Waveney? It would be quite in accordance with 
Edward's actions elsewhere to restore an old Roman castrum. 

'^ Leland says : "There were 7 principall Towers or Wards in the waulles 
of Staunford, to eche of which were certeyne freeholders in the Towne 
allottid to wache and ward in tyme of neadde." Itinerarium^ vii., 11. 



NOTTINGHAM 45 

and his Witan begged of Ethelred, king of the West 
Saxons, and of Alfred his brother, that they would help 
them, that they might fight against the army. And 
then they went with the West Saxon force into Mercia 
as far as Nottingham, and there encountered the army 
which was in the fortress (geweorc), and besieged them 
there ; but there was no great battle fought, and the 
Mercians made peace with the army."^ Nottingham 
became another of the Danish Five Boroughs. The 
Danish host on this occasion came from York, no doubt 
in ships down the Ouse and up the Trent. The site 
would exactly suit them, as it occupied a very strong 
position on St Mary's Hill, a height equal to that on 
which the castle stands, defended on the south front by 
precipitous cliffs, below which ran the river Leen, and 
only a very short distance from the junction of the Leen 
with the Trent, the great waterway of middle England.^ 
Portions of the ancient ditch were uncovered in 1890, and 
its outline appears to have been roughly rectangular, like 
the Danish camp at Shoebury. The ditch was about 
20 feet wide. The area enclosed was about 39 acres. 

This borough was captured by Edward the Elder 
in 919, when after the death of his sister Ethelfleda he 
advanced into Danish Mercia, taking up the work 
which she had left unfinished.^ The Chro7iicle tells us 
that he repaired the borough (burh), and garrisoned it 
with both English and Danes. Two years later, he 
evidently felt the necessity of fortifying the Trent 
itself, for he built another borough on the south side of 

^ A.-S. C, 868. 

2 Shipman's Old Town Wall of Nottingham^ pp. 73-75. The evidence 
for a Roman origin of the borough is altogether too slight, as, except some 
doubtful earthenware bottles, no Roman remains have been found at 
Nottingham. 

^ A.-S. C, 921. Florence of Worcester^ 919. 



46 ANGLO-SAXON FORTIFICATIONS 

the river, and connected the two boroughs by a bridge, 
which must have included a causeway or a wooden 
staore across the marshes of the Leen. It is not sur- 
prising that the frequent floods of the Trent have carried 
away all trace of this second borough.-^ The important 
position of Nottingham was maintained in subsequent 
times, and it was still a borough at Domesday. 

Thelwall. — According to Camden, Thelwall ex- 
plains by its name the kind of work which was set up 
here, a wall composed of the trunks of trees. This was 
another attempt to defend the course of the Mersey, 
which was once tidal as far as Thelwall. No remains 
of any fortifications can now be seen at Thelwall, which 
was not one of the boroughs which took root. But the 
Mersey has changed its course very much at this point, 
even before the making of the Ship Canal effected a 
more complete alteration.^ 

Manchester. — The bttrh repaired by Edward the 
Elder was no doubt the Roman castrum, which was 
built on the triangle of land between the Irwell and the 
Medlock. Large portions of the walls were still 
remaining in Stukeley's time, about 1700, and some 
fragments have recently been unearthed by the 
Manchester Classical Association. It was one of the 
smaller kind of Roman stations, its area being only 
5 acres. Manchester is not mentioned as a borough 
in Domesday, but the old Saxon town was long known 
as Aldportton, which literally means '' the town of the 

1 I am indebted for much of the information given here to the local 
antiquarian knowledge of Mr Harold Sands, F.S.A. He states that the old 
borough was 1400 yards from the Trent at its nearest point, and that the 
highest ground on the south side of the Trent is marked by the Trent 
Bridge cricket ground, the last spot to become flooded. Here, therefore, 
was the probable site of Edward's second borough. 

2 See Appendix F. 



MANCHESTER AND BAKEWELL 47 

old city." This is its title in mediaeval deeds, and it is 
still preserved in Alport Street, a street near the 
remains of the castrum} The later borouo'h of 
Manchester, which existed at least as early as the 
13th century, appears to have grown up round the 
Norman castle, about a mile from the Roman castrum.^ 
Bakewell. — The vagueness of the indication in the 
Ch7'onicle, *'nigh to Bakewell," leaves us in some doubt 
where we are to look for this btirh, which Florence calls 
an urbs. Just outside the village of Bakewell there are 
the remains of a motte and bailey castle (a small motte 
and bailey of 2 acres), which are always assumed to be 
the burh of Edward. But the enclosure is far too small 
for a borough, and Edward's burh would certainly have 
enclosed the church ; for though the present church 
contains no Saxon architecture, the ancient cross in the 
graveyard shows that it stands on a Saxon site. It is 
more reasonable to suppose that Edward's borough, if 
it was at Bakewell, has disappeared as completely as 
those of Runcorn, Buckingham, and Thelwall, and that 
the motte and bailey belong to one of the many 
Norman castles whose names never appear in history. 
There is no conclusive evidence for the existence of a 
Norman castle at Bakewell, but the names Castle Field, 
Warden Field, and Court Yard are at least suggestive.^ 
BakewelFwas the seat of jurisdiction for the High Peak 
Hundred in mediaeval times.* 

^ Whitaker's History of Manchester^ i., 43. 

2 Trans, of Lane, and Chesh. Hist, and Ant. Soc.^ v., 246. 

^ " Castle " in combination with some other word is often given to works 
of Roman or British origin, because its original meaning was a fortified 
enclosure ; but the name Castle Hill is extremely common for mottes. 

"* We may remark here that it is not surprising that there should be a 
number of motte castles which are never mentioned in history, especially as it 
is certain that all the " adulterine " castles, which were raised without royal per- 
mission in the rebellions of Stephen's and other reigns, were very short-lived. 



CHAPTER IV 

DANISH FORTIFICATIONS 

We must now inquire into the nature of the fortifications 
built by the Danes in England, which are frequently- 
mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. It has often 
been asserted, and with great confidence, that the 
Danes were the authors of the moated mounds of 
class [e) ; those in Ireland are invariably spoken of by 
Lewis in his Topogi^aphical Dictionary as ** Danish 
Raths." This fancy seems to have gone somewhat out 
of fashion since Mr Clark's burh theory occupied the 
field, though Mr Clark's view is often so loosely 
expressed as to lead one to think that he supposed all 
the Northern nations to be makers of mottes ; in fact, 
he frequently includes the Anglo-Saxons under the 
ofeneral title of ''Northmen"!^ We must therefore 
endeavour to find out what the Danish fortifications 
actually were. 

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions twenty-four 
places where the Danes either threw up fortifications 
(between ^Z"] and 924) or took up quarters either for 
the winter, or for such a period of time that we may 
infer that there was some fortification to protect them. 
The word used for the fortification is generally geweorc, 

1 MedicBval Military Architecture^ i., i8. See Mr Round's remarks on 
Mr Clark's vagueness in his " Castles of the Conquest," Archceohgia, 1902. 

48 



NOTTINGHAM, ROCHESTER, MH.TON 49 

a work, or fcrsten (In two places only), which has also 
the general vague meaning of a fastness. There are 
ten places where these works or fastnesses are mentioned 
in the Chronicle: — 

1. Nottingham. — We have already seen that the 
Danish host took up their winter quarters here In 868, 
and that there is the highest probability that the 
borouofh which Edward the Elder restored was first 
built by them. We have also seen that It was a camp 
of roughly rectangular form, and enclosed a very large 
area, necessary for great numbers.^ 

2. Rochester. — This city ,was besieged by the 
Danes in 885, and they fortified a camp outside. As 
the artificial mound called Boley Hill Is outside the city, 
most topographers have jumped to the conclusion that 
this was the Danish camp. But the character of the 
Danish fortification Is clearly Indicated In the Ckrofiicle : 
"they made a work around themselves," that is, it was 
an enclosure.^ They could hardly have escaped by 
ship, as they did. If their camp had been above the 
bridge, which is known to have existed In Saxon times. 
But Boley Hill Is above the bridge. 

3. Milton, in Kent (MIddeltune). — Hsesten the 
Dane landed at the mouth of the Thames with 80 ships, 
and wrought 2. geweorc here In 893. Two places in the 
nelo^hbourhood of Milton have been suoraested as the 
site of it, a square earthwork at Bayford Court, near 
SIttlngbourne, and a very small square enclosure called 
Castle Rough. Neither of these are large enough to 
have been of any use to a force which came In 80 

^ The A.-S. C. speaks of this Danish host as " a great heathen army." 866. 

- "Worhton other faesten ymb hie selfe." The same Language is 
frequently used in the continental accounts of the Danish fortresses ; 
" Munientes se per gyrum avulsae terras aggere," Dudo^ 155 (Duchesne): 
" Se ex illis (sepibus et parietibus) circutndando munierant." //., p. 81. 

D 



50 DANISH FORTIFICATIONS 

shlps.^ Steenstrup has calculated that the average 
number of men in a Viking ship must have been from 
40 to 50 ; Haesten therefore must have had at least 
3200 men with him. It is therefore probable that the 
camp at Milton has been swept away. 

4. Appledore. — A still larger Danish force, which 
had been harrying the Carlovingian empire, came in 
250 ships, with their horses, in 893, and towed their 
ships "up the river" (which is now extinct) from 
Lymne to Appledore, where they wrought a work. 
There are no earthworks at Appledore now, but at 
Kenardington, 2 miles off, there are remains of '' a 
roughly defined rectangular work, situated on the north 
and east of the church, on the slope of the hill towards 
the marsh, a very likely place for an entrenchment 
thrown up to defend a fleet of light-draught ships 
hauled up on the beach."" The enclosure was very 
large, one side which remains being 600 feet long.^ 

5. Benfleet. — Here Hsesten wrought a work in 894 ; 
here he was defeated by Alfred's forces, and some of his 
ships burnt. Mr Spurrell states that there are still 
some irregular elevations by the stream and about the 
church, which he believes to be remains of the Danish 
camp."* ''As the fleet of ships lay in the Beamfleet, 

^ The earthworks at Bayford Court must belong to the medlasval castle 
which existed there. See Beauties of England and Wales, Kent, p. 698. 
Castle Rough is less than an acre in area. 

^ Mr Harold Sands, Some Kentish Castles, p. 10, 

^ See the plan in Victoria History of Kent, paper on Earthworks by the 
late Mr I. C. Gould. Hasted states that there was a small circular mount 
there as well as an embankment, and that there are other remains in the 
marsh below, which seem to have been connected with the former by a 
narrow ridge or causeway, Kent, iii., 117. The causeway led to a similar 
mount in the marsh below, but Mr Gould inclined to think the mounts and 
causeway later, and possibly part of a dam for "inning" the marsh. 
V, C. H., p. 397. 

^ " Hossten's Camps at Shoebury and Benfleet," Essex Naturalist^ iv., 153. 



BENFLEET, SHOEBURY 51 

it is obvious that the camp must have partaken of the 
character of a fortified hither with the wall landward and 
the shore open to the river and the ships." He also 
learned on the spot that when the railway bridge across 
the Fleet was being made, the remains of several ancient 
ships, charred by fire, and surrounded by numerous 
human skeletons, were found in the mud.-^ Benfleet 
must have been a very large camp, as not only was the 
joint army of Danes housed in it, that from Milton and 
that from Appledore, but they had with them their 
wives and children and cattle. 

6. Shoebury (Fig. 6). — After the storming of the 
camp at Benfleet by the Saxon forces, the joint armies 
of the Danes built another geweorc at Shoebury in 
Essex. We should therefore expect a large camp here, 
and Mr Spurrell has shown that the area was formerly 
about a third of a square mile. About half the camp 
had been washed away by the sea when Mr Spurrell 
surveyed it in 1879, but enough was left to give a good 
idea of the whole. It was a roughly square rampart, 
with a ditch about 40 feet wide, the ditch having a kind 
of berm on the inner side. The bank also had a slight 
platform inside, about 3 feet above the general level.^ 
As Haesten had lost his ships at Benfleet, there would 
be no fortified hithe connected with it, and if there had 
been, the sea would have swept it away. The camp 
was abandoned almost as soon as it was made, and the 
Danish army started on that remarkable march across 
England which the Saxon Chronicle relates. They were 
overtaken and besieged by Alfred's forces, in d. fastness at 

7. BuTTiNGTON, on the Severn. — It has sometimes 

^ The Chronicle says that the ships of Hassten were either broken to 
pieces, or burnt, or taken to London or Rochester. 894. 

2 Essex Naturalist^ as above, p. 151. These berms certainly suggest 
Roman influence. 



52 DANISH FORTIFICATIONS 

been contended that this was the Buttlngton near 
Chepstow ; but as the line of march of the army was 
** along the Thames till they reached the Severn, then 
up along the Severn,"^ it is more probable that it was 
Buttington in Montgomery, west of Shrewsbury.^ 
Here there are remains of a strong bank with a broad 
deep ditch, which was evidently part of a rectangular 
earthwork, as it runs at right angles to Offa's Dyke, 
which forms one side of it. It now encloses both the 
churchyard and vicarage. Whether the Danes con- 
structed this earthwork, or found it there, we are not 
told. 

8. There appear to be no remains of the geweoix on 
the river Lea, 20 miles above London, made by the 
Danes in 896. But 20 miles above London, on the 
Lea, would land us at Amwell, near Ware. In 
Brayley's Hertfordsht7'e it is stated that at Amwell, ''on 
the hill above the church are traces of a very extensive 
fortification, the rampart of which is very distinguishable 
on the side overlooking the vale through which the 
river Lea flows." ^ 

9. Bridgenorth, or Quatbridge. — The W^inchester 
MS. of the Chronicle says the Danes wrought a geimoix 
at Quatbridge, in 896, and passed the winter there. 
There is no such place as Quatbridge now, only 
Quatford ; and seeing there were so few bridges in those 
days, we are disposed to accept the statement of the 
Worcester MS., which must have been the best 

1 A.-S. C, 894. 

^ Montgomery Collections^ xxxi., 337 ; Dymond, On the Site of Buttington. 
See also Steenstrup, Norniannerne^ ii., 80. 

^ Beauties of England a?id IVales, vii., 246. There is nothing left either 
at Great or Little Amwell now but fragments of what are supposed to be 
homestead moats. Royal Commission on Historical Monwnents^ pp. 95, 
142, Herts, vol. 




Section of Earthwork 

(after Spurrell .) 



10 20 30 40 5 Feet 

Scale for Section. 



100 200 300 400 500 600 FEET 



■ 



Scale for Plan 



Shoebury, Essex. 



Fig. 6. 



[Toji'cep. 52. 



BRIDGENORTH, TEMPSFORD 53 

informed about events In the west, that Bridgenorth 
was the site of their work, especially as the high rock 
at Bridgenorth offers a natural fortification. The only 
circumstance that Is in favour of Quatford is that it is 
mentioned as a burgus In Domesday, which shows that 
it possessed fortifications of the civic kind ; and we shall 
see later on, that such fortifications were often the work 
of the Danes. But this burgus may more probably have 
been the work of Roger de Montgomeri, who planted 
a castle there in the nth century. 

lo. Tempsford. — Here the Danes wrought a work 
in 918.^ There Is a small oblong enclosure at 
Tempsford, still in fair preservation, called Gannock 
Castle, which Is generally supposed to be this Danish 
work. The ramparts are about 11 or 12 feet above the 
bottom of the moat, which Is about 20 feet wide. 
There is a small circular mound, about 5 feet high, 
on top of the rampart, which appears to be so placed 
as to defend the entrance. This mound is ''edged all 
round by the root of a small bank, which may have been 
the base of a stockaded tower." ^ This curious little 
enclosure is different altogether from any of the Danish 
works just enumerated, and it is difficult to see what 
purpose it could have served. The area enclosed is 
only half an acre, which would certainly not have 
accommodated the large army '* from Huntingdon and 
from the East Angles," which built the advanced post at 
Tempsford as a base for the forcible recovery of the 
districts which they had lost.^ Such a small enclosure 
as this might possibly have been a citadel, but our 

^ Florence's date. 

" Victoria History of Bedfordshire^ i., 282, from which this description 
is taken. 

"^ The Chronicle speaks of Tempsford as a burh^ so it must have been a 
large enclosure. 



54 DANISH FORTIFICATIONS 

knowledge of Danish camps does not tell us of any with 
citadels, and it is hardly likely that the democratic 
constitution of these pirate bands would have allowed 
of a citadel for the chief. It is far more probable that 
this work belongs to a later time, and that the Danish 
camp has been swept away by the river.^ 

II. Reading. — There is no ''work" mentioned by 
the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle at this place, which the 
Danes made their headquarters in 871, but we add It 
to the list because Asser not only mentions it, but 
describes the nature of the fortification. It was a vallum 
drawn between the rivers Thames and Kennet, so as to 
enclose a peninsula.^ It had several entrances, as the 
Danes ''rushed out from all the gates " on the Anglo- 
Saxon attack. Such a fort belongs to the simplest and 
easiest kind of defence, used at all times by a general 
who is in a hurry, and it has therefore no significance 
in determining the general type of Danish works. 

Besides these eleven places where works are 
mentioned, there are thirteen places where the Danes 
are said to have taken up their winter quarters, and 
where we may be certain that they were protected by 
some kind of fortifications. These are Thanet, Sheppey, 
Thetford, York, London, Torkesey, Repton, Cambridge, 
Exeter, Chippenham, Cirencester, Fulham, and Mersey 
Island. Four places out of this list — York, London, 
Exeter, and Cirencester — were Roman castra, whose 
walls were still available for defence. Three — Thanet, 
Sheppey, and Mersey — were islands, and thus naturally 
defended, being much more insular than they are 

^ Mr Clark actually speaks of a subsequent Norman castle at Tempsford 
{M. M. A.J h, 78), but we have been unable to find any confirmation of this. 
Faint traces of larger works in the fields below were formerly visible. 
V. C. H. Bedfordshire, 

2 Stephenson's Asser^ p. 27. 



DANISH WINTER QUARTERS 55 

now/ Three — Thetford, Torkesey, and Cambridge — 
appear as burgi in Domesday, showing that they were 
fortified towns. It is highly probable that the Danes 
threw up the first fortifications of these boroughs. There 
are no remains of town banks at Torkesey ; at Cambridge 
the outline of the town bank can be traced in places ; ^ 
and at Thetford there was formerly an earthwork on the 
Suffolk side of the river, which appears to have formed 
three sides of a square, abutting on the river, and 
enclosing the most ancient part of the town.^ Chippen- 
ham and Repton were ancient seats of the Anglo-Saxon 
kings, and may have had fortifications, but nothing 
remains now. Chippenham is a borough by prescrip- 
tion, therefore of ancient date. At Fulham, on the 
Thames, there is a quadrangular moat and bank round 
the Bishop of London's palace, which is sometimes 
supposed to be the camp made by the Danes in 879 ; 
but it may equally well be mediaeval. There was 
formerly a harbour at Fulham.^ 

It must be confessed that this list of Danish 
fortresses furnishes us with a very slender basis for 
generalisation as to the nature of Danish fortifications, 
judging from the actual remains. All we can say is that 
in six cases out of twenty-four (not including Tempsford 
or Fulham) the work appears to have been rectangular. 
In the case of Shoebury, about which we have the best 

1 There are no remains of earthworks in Thanet or Sheppey, except a 
place called Cheeseman's Camp, near Minster in Thanet, which the late Mr 
Gould regarded as of the " homestead-moat type." V. C. H. Kent, i., 433. 
Nor are there any earthworks on Mersey Island mentioned by Mr Gould in 
his paper on Essex earthworks in the V. C. H. 

'^ Stukeley, who saw this earthwork when it was in a much more perfect 
state, says that it contained 30 acres. See Mr Hope's paper in Cainb. 
Antiq. Soc, vol. xi. 

2 Blomefield's Norfolk, ii., pp. 7, 8, 27. His description is very confused. 
* See Erlingssen's Ruins of the Saga Time, Viki?ig Club, p. 337. 



56 DANISH FORTIFICATIONS 

evidence, the Imitation of Roman models seems to be 
clear. If we turn from remaining facts to a priori likeli- 
hoods, we call to mind that the Danes were a much- 
travelled people, had been in Gaul as well as in England, 
and had had opportunities of observing Roman fortifica- 
tions, as well as much practice both in the assault and 
defence of fortified places. It may not be without 
significance that it Is not until after the return of '* the 
army " from France that we hear of their building 
camps at all, except in the case of Reading. 

As far as our Information goes, their camps were 
without citadels. What evidence we have from the 
other side of the channel supports the same conclusion. 
Richer gives us an account of the storming of a fortress 
of the Northmen at Eu, by King Raoul, in 925, from 
which it is clear that as soon as the king's soldiers had 
got over the vallum, they were masters of the place ; 
there was no citadel to attack.^ Dudo speaks of the 
Vikings '' fortifying themselves, after the manner of a 
castrum, by heaped up earth-banks drawn round them- 
selves," and it is clear from the rest of his description 
that the camp had no citadel.^ 

In no case do we find anything to justify the theory 
that m.ottes were an accompaniment of Danish camps. 
In five cases out of the twenty-four there are or were 
mottes at the places mentioned, but in all cases they 
belonged to Norman castles. The magnificent motte 
called the Castle Hill at Thetford was on the opposite 
side of the river to the borough, which we have seen 
reason to think was the site of the Danish winter 
quarters. Torkesey in Leland's time had by the river 

^ Richerii, Historiarum Libri Quatuor^ edition Guadet, p. 67. 
2 " In modo castri, munientes se per girum avulsae terric aggere." DudOy 
155 (edition Duchesne). 



DANISH FORTIFIED HARBOURS 57 

side "a Hille of Yerth cast up," which he judged to be 
the donjon of some old castle, probably rightly, though 
we have been unable as yet to find any mention of a 
Norman castle at Torkesey ; a brick castle of much 
more recent date is still standing near the river, and 
probably the motte to which Leland alludes was 
destroyed when this was built. The motte at Cam- 
bridge is placed inside the original bounds of the 
borough, and was part of the Norman castle.-^ We 
have already dealt with the Boley Hill at Rochester, 
and shall have more to say about it hereafter. The 
rock motte at Nottingham was probably not cut off by 
a ditch from the rest of the headland until the Norman 
castle was built. 

It seems highly probable that besides providing 
accommodation in their camps for very large numbers 
of people, the Danes sometimes fortified the hithes 
where they drew up their ships on shore, or even con- 
structed fortified harbours.^ We have already quoted 
Mr Spurrell's remark on the hlthe^ at Benfleet (p. 51), 
and there is at least one place in England which seems 
to prove the existence of fortified harbours. This Is 
Willington, on the river Ouse, in Bedfordshire, which 
has been carefully described by Mr A. R. Goddard.* 
This ''camp" consists of two wards, and a wide outer 
enclosure (Fig. 7). " But one of the most interest- 
ing features is the presence of two harbours, con- 
tained within the defences and communicating with the 

^ "The castle end of Cambridge was called the Borough within the 
memory of persons now living." Atkinson's Cambridge Described ( 1 897), p. 9. 

^ Steenstrup says that the Northmen built themselves shipyards all 
round Europe, especially on the islands where they had their winter 
settlements. Normanneme, i., 354. 

^ A.-S., hyth^ a shore, a landing-place. 

^ Victoria County History of Beds. ^ i., 282. 



FORTIFIED TOWNS 59 

river." Mr Goddard points out that the dimensions of the 
smaller one are almost the same as those of the '* nausts " 
(ship-sheds or small docks) of the Vikings in Iceland. 
He also cites from \he Jomsvikinga Saga the description 
of a harbour made by the Viking Palnatoki at Jomsborg. 
" There he had a large and strong sea bzcrg made. He 
also had a harbour made within the bzcrg in which 
300 long ships could lie at the same time, all being 
locked within the burg." The harbours at Willington 
are large enough to accommodate between twenty-five 
and thirty-five ships of the Danish type. Unfortunately 
there is no historical proof that the Willington works 
were Danish, though their construction makes it very 
likely. Nor have any works of a similar character 
been as yet observed in England, as far as we are 
aware. 

But if archaeology and topography give a somewhat 
scanty answer to our question about the nature of 
Danish fortifications, there are other fields of research, 
opened up of late years, from which we can glean 
important facts, bearing directly on the subject which 
we are treating. Herr Steenstrup's exhaustive inquiry 
into the Danish settlement in England has shown that 
the way in which the Danes maintained their hold on 
the northern and eastern shires was by planting fortified 
towns on which the soldiers and peasants dwelling 
around were dependent.^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 
gives us a glimpse of these arrangements when it 
speaks of the Danes who owed obedience to Bedford, 
Derby, Leicester, Northampton, and Cambridge.^ It 
also tells us of the Five Boroughs, which, as we 
have already said, appear to have been a confederation 

^ Steenstrup's Nonnannerne^ vol. iv. ; Danelagh p. 40. 
^ A.-S. C, 914-921. 



60 DANISH FORTIFICATIONS 

of boroughs forming an independent Danish state 
between the Danish kingdoms of East Anglia and 
Northumbria. 

The same system was followed by the Danes who 
colonised Ireland. ''The colony had a centre in a 
fortified town, or it consisted almost exclusively of 
dwellers in one. But round this town was a district, 
in which the Irish inhabitants had to pay taxes to the 
lords of the town."^ The Irish chronicle called The 
Wars of the Gaedhil and the Gaill says, further, that 
Norse soldiers were quartered in the country round 
these towns in the houses of the native Irish, and it 
even says that there was hardly a house without a 
Norseman.^ Herr Steenstrup does not go so far as 
to assert that this system of quartering obtained in 
England also ; but he shows that it is probable, and 
we may add that such a system would help to explain 
the speedy absorption of the Danes into the Anglo- 
Saxon population, which took place in the Danelaw 
districts.^ 

The large numbers of the Danish forces, and the 
fact that in the second period of their invasions they 
brought their wives and children with them, would 
render camps of large area necessary. These numbers 
alone make it ridiculous to attribute to the Danes the 
small motte castles of class (e), whose average area is 
not more than 3 acres. 

Finally, the Danish host was not a feudal host. 
Steenstrup asserts that the principle of the composition 
of the host was the voluntary association of equally 

^ Steenstrup, Danelagh P- 4i- ^ Ibid.^ pp. 22, 23. 

^ Such quartering must have been confined to the unmarried Danes, but 
there must have been plenty of unmarried men in the piratical host, even 
at the period when it became customary to bring wives and children with 
the army. 



SUMMARY OF RESULTS 61 

powerful leaders, of whom one was chosen as head, and 
was implicitedly obeyed, but had only a temporary 
authority.^ We should not, therefore, expect to find 
the Danish camps provided with the citadels by which 
the feudal baron defended his personal safety. When 
Rollo and his host were coming up the Seine, the 
Prankish king Raoul sent messengers to ask them who 
they were, and what was the name of their chief. 
"Danes," was the reply, ''and we have no chief, for we 
are all equal." ^ That such an answer would be given 
by men who were following a leader so distinguished 
as Rollo shows the spirit of independence which per- 
vaded the Danish hosts, and how little a separate forti- 
fication for the chief would comport with their methods 
of warfare.^ 

We may conclude, then, with every appearance of 
certainty that the Danish camps were enclosures of 
large area which very much resembled the larger Roman 
cast7^a, and that, like these, they frequently grew into 
towns. Placed as they generally were on good havens, 
or on navigable rivers, they were most suitable places 
for trade ; and it turned out that the Danes, who were 
a people of great natural aptitudes, had a special 
aptitude for commerce.^ Dr Cunningham remarks 
that they were the leading merchants of the country, and 
he attributes to them a large share in the development 
of town life in England. ^ The org^anisation of their 
armies was purely military, but at the same time 

1 Norinannerne^ i., 282. - Dtedo, 76 (Duchesne). 

" Herr Steenstrup shows that so far from the settlement of the Danes in 
Normandy being on feudal lines, they only reluctantly accepted the feudal 
yoke, and not till the next century. Normannerne^ i., 305, 310. It is not till 
the nth century that feudal castles become general in Normandy. 

^ The Danes in Normandy soon made Rouen a great centre of trade. 
Nonnannerne^ i., 190. 

•" Cunningham's GrowtJi of English Industry^ i., 92. 



G2 DANISH FORTIFICATIONS 

democratic ; and when it was applied to a settled life in 
the new country, the organisation of the town was the 
form which it took. The Lagmen of Lincoln, Stamford, 
Cambridge, Chester, and York are a peculiarly Scandi- 
navian institution, which we find still existing at the 
time of the Domesday Survey.^ 

Thus we see that the fortifications of the Danes, 
like those of the Anglo-Saxons, were the fortifications 
of the community. And we shall see in the next 
chapter that this was the general type of the fortifica- 
tions which were being raised in Western Europe in 
the 9th century. 

^ See Vinogradoff, English Society in the nth Century^ pp. 5, 11, 478. 



CHAPTER V 

THE ORIGIN OF PRIVATE CASTLES 

We have now seen that history furnishes no instance of 
the existence of private castles among the Anglo-Saxons 
or the Danes (previous to the arrival of Edward the 
Confessor's Norman friends), and we have endeavoured 
to show that this negative evidence is of great signifi- 
cance. If, assuming that we are right In accepting It 
as conclusive, we ask why the Anglo-Saxons did not 
build private castles, the answer Is ready to hand In the 
researches of the late Dr Stubbs, the late Professor 
Maitland, Dr J. H. Round, and Professor VInogradoff, 
which have thrown so much fresh light on the constitu- 
tional history of England. These writers have made 
it clear that whatever tendencies towards feudalism 
there were In England before the Conquest, the system 
of military tenure, which is the backbone of feudalism, 
was introduced Into England by William the Conqueror.^ 
'* Feudalism, in both tenure and government was, so far 
as It existed in England, brought full-grown from 
France," says Dr Stubbs ; and this statement Is not 
merely supported, but strengthened, by the work of the 

^ See wStubbs, Constitutional History^ i., 251 ; Maitland's Domesday Book 
and Beyo?td^^. 157 ; Kour\(Ms Feudal England^ p. 261 ; Vinogradoff s ^«^//i-/! 
Society in the nth Century^ P- 4i. 

63 



G4 THE ORIGIN OF PRIVATE CASTLES 

later writers named. ^ The Institutions of the Anglo- 
Saxons, when they settled In England, were tribal ; and 
though these Institutions were In a state of decay In the 
iith century, they were not completely superseded by 
feudal institutions till after the Norman Conquest. 

We should naturally expect, then, that the fortifica- 
tions erected by the Anglo-Saxons would be those 
adapted to their originally tribal state, that Is, in 
the words which we have so often used already, they 
would be those of the community and not of the 
individual. And as far as we can discover the character 
of these fortifications, we find that this was actually the 
case. As we have seen, we find one of the earliest 
kings, Ida, building for the defence of himself and his 
followers what Bede calls a city ; and we find Alfred and 
his children also building and repairing cities, at the 
time of the Danish Invasions. 

The same kind of thing was going on at about the 
same time In Germany and In France. Henry the 
Fowler (919-936), that great restorer of the Austrasian 
kingdom, planted on the frontiers which were exposed 
to the attacks of the Danes and Huns a number of 
walled strongholds, not only for the purpose of resisting 
invasion, but to afford a place of refuge to all the 
inhabitants of the country. He ordained that every 
ninth man of the peasants In the district must build 

1 Professor Maitland wrote : " The definitely feudal idea that military 
service is the tenant's return for the gift of land did not exist [before the 
Norman Conquest], though a state of things had been evolved which for 
many practical purposes was indistinguishable from the system of knight's 
fees." Do7nesday Book and Beyond^ p. 157. Dr Round holds that "the 
military service of the Anglo-Norman tenant-in-chief was in no way derived 
or developed from that of the Anglo-Saxons, but was arbitrarily fixed by the 
king, from whom he received his fief." Feudal England^ p. 261. Similarly, 
Professor Vinogradoff states that "the law of military fees is in substance 
French law brought over to England by the [Norman] conquerors." 
English Society in the nth Century^ p. 4i- 



FORTIFIED WALLS 65 

for himself and his nine companions a dwelling In the 
'' Burg," and provide barns and storehouses, and that the 
third part of all crops must be delivered and housed in 
these towns.^ In this way, says the historian Giesebrecht, 
he sought to accustom the Saxons, who had hitherto 
dwelt in Isolated farms, or open villages, to life in towns. 
He ordered that all assemblies of the people should be 
held In towns. Giesebrecht also remarks that It is not 
Improbable that Henry the Fowler had the example of 
Edward the Elder of England before his eyes when he 
established these rows of frontier towns. ^ 

The same causes led, on Neustrlan soil, to the 
fortification of a number of cities, the walls of which had 
fallen into decay during the period of peace before the 
Invasions of the Danes. Thus Charles the Bald com- 
manded Le Mans and Tours to be fortified "as a defence 
for the people against the Northmen."^ The bishops 
were particularly active In thus defending the people of 
their dioceses. Archbishop Fulk rebuilt the walls of 
Rhelms, between 884 and 900 ; '^ his successor, Hervey, 
fortified the town of Coucy ^ (about 900) ; the Bishop of 

^ Giesebrecht, GeschicJite dcr Kaiserzeit^ i., 224. The word Burg^ which 
Giesebrecht uses for these strongholds, means a castle in modern German ; 
but its ancient meaning was a town (see Hilprecht's German Dictionary\ 
and it corresponded exactly to the Anglo-Saxon burh. It was used in this 
sense at least as late as the end of the 12th century ; see, e.g.^ Lamprecht's 
Alexanderlzed, passim. It is clear by the context that Giesebrecht employs 
it in its ancient sense. 

- Ibid., 222. Henry's son Otto married a daughter of Edward the Elder. 
Henry received the nickname of Townfounder (Stadtegriinder). 

^ " Carolus civitates Transsequanas ab incolis firmari rogavit, Cinomannis 
scilicet et Turonis, ut praesidio contra Nortmannos populis esse possent." 
Annates Bertinianoruin, Migne, Pat., 125, 53. 

* Flodoard, Hist. Ecc. Remensis., iv., viii. 

° Modern historians generally say that he built the castte of Coucy ; but 
from Flodoard's account it seems very doubtful whether anything but the 
town is meant. Annates., iv., xiii. His words are : " Munitionem quoque apud 
Codiciacum tuto loco constituit atque firmavit." Munitio properly means a 
bulwark or wall. 

E 






66 THE ORIGIN OF PRIVATE CASTLES 

Cambray built new walls to his city in 887-911 ;^ and 
Bishop Erluin fortified Peronne in looi, **as a defence 
against marauders, and a refuge for the husbandmen of 
the country." ^ But permission had probably to be asked 
in all these cases, as it certainly had in the last. The 
Carlovingian sovereigns represented a well-ordered state, 
modelled on the pattern of the Roman Empire ; they 
were jealous of any attempts at self-defence which did 
not proceed from the State, and thus as long as they had 
the power they strove to put down all associations or 
buildings of a military character which did not emanate 
from their imperial authority. 

The history of the 9th and loth centuries is the 
history of the gradual break-up of the Carlovingian 
Emipire, and the rise of feudalism on its ruins. In 877, 
the year of his death, Charles the Bald signed a decree 
making the counts of the provinces, who until then had 
been imperial officers, hereditary. He thus, as Sismondi 
says, annihilated the remains of royal authority in the 
provinces.^ The removable officers now became local 
sovereigns. Gradually, as the Carlovingian Empire fell 
to pieces, the artificial organisation of the feudal system 
arose to take its place. By the end of the loth century 
the victory of feudalism was complete ; and the victory 
of feudalism was the victory of the private castle. 

*' The very word castle," says Guizot, ^'brings with 
It the idea of feudal society ; we see it rising before us. 
It was feudalism that built these castles which once 
covered our soil, and whose ruins are still scattered upon 
it. They were the declaration of its triumph. Nothing 
like them had existed on Gallo-Roman soil. Before the 

^ Gesta Episcop. Cameracensium^ Pertz, vii., 424. 

' Chron. Camarense et Atrebatorum^ Bouquet, x., 196. 

' Sismondi, Histoire des Fran^ats, ii., 172. 



EARLY PALACES 67 

Germanic Invasion, the great landed proprietors dwelt 
either In the cities, or in beautiful houses agreeably 
situated near the cities." ^ These Gallo-Roman villas had 
no fortifications ; ^ nor were the Roman villas in England 
fortified.^ It was the business of the State to defend the 
community ; this was the theory so long sustained by 
Imperial Rome, and which broke down so completely 
under the later Carlovlngians. 

In the time of Charlemagne and Louis le Debonnaire, 
even the royal palaces do not appear to have been 
fortified. They were always spoken of sls pa/alm, nev^r 
as castella. The Danes, when they took possession of 
the palace of NImeguen In 880, fortified It with ditches 
and banks/ Charles the Bald appears to have been the 
first to fortify the palace of Compiegne.^ 

Although there can be no doubt that private castles 
had become extremely common on the mainland of 
Western Europe before the end of the loth century. It Is 
more difficult than is generally supposed to trace their 
first appearance. Historians, even those of great repute, 
have been somewhat careless In translating the words 
castruni or castellum as castle or chateau, and taking 
them in the sense of the feudal or private castle.^ We 

^ Guizot, Histoire de la Civilisation en France, iii., 311. 

2 Enlart, Manuel cTArchceologie Francaise, ii., 494. 

2 See Dr Haverfield's articles in the Victoria County Histories, passim. 
The late J. H. Burton justly wrote : " We have nothing from the Romans 
answering to the feudal stronghold or castle, no vestige of a place where a 
great man lived apart with his family and his servants, ruling over 
dependants and fortifying himself against enemies." History of Scotlajtd^ 
i., 385. 

^ Annals of Fulda, 394, Pertz, i. ^ Cap. Regum Francor., ii., 360. 

^ Thus De Caumont unfortunately spoke of the fortress built by Nicetus, 
Bishop of Treves, in the 6th century, as a chateau {Abcccdaire, ii., 382) ; but 
Venantius Fortunatus, in his descriptive poem, tells us that it was a vast 
enclosure with no less than thirty towers, built by the good pastor for the 
protection of his flock. It even contained fields and vineyards, and 
altogether was as different from a private castle as anything can well be. 



68 THE ORIGIN OF PRIVATE CASTLES 

have already pointed out that these words In our Anglo- 
Saxon charters mean a town or village/ The fact is 
that from Roman times until toward the end of the 9th 
century the words castruni and castelluvi are used in- 
differently for a fortified city or town, or a temporary 
camp. The expression civitates et castella is not 
uncommon, and might lead one to think that a distinc- 
tion was drawn between large and small towns, or forts. 
But it is far more likely that it is a mere pleonasm, a 
bit of that redundancy which was always dear to the 
mediaeval scribe who was trying to write well. For as 
the instances cited in the Appendix will prove, we 
constantly find the words castrum and castellum used for 
the same town, sometimes even in the same paragraph. 
Later, from the last quarter of the 9th century to the 
middle of the 12th century, these same words are used 
indifferently for a town or a castle, and it is impossible 
to tell, except by the context, whether a town or a castle 
is meant ; and often even the context throws no light 
upon it. 

This makes it extremely difficult to say with any 
exactness when the private castle first arose. We seem 
indeed to have a fixed date in the Capitulary of Pistes, 
issued by Charles the Bald in 864,^ in which he 

similarly the castrum of Merliac, spoken of by Enlart {Architecture Militaire^ 
p. 492) as a " veritable chateau," is described as containing cultivated lands and 
sheets of water! (Cited from Gregory of Tours, Hist. Francorum^ liii., 13.) 
De Caumont himself says : "Les grandes exploitations rurales que possedaient 
les rois de France et les principaux du royaume du V^^^^^^ au Xieme siecle 
ne furent pas des forteresses et ne doivent point etre confondues avec les 
chateaux." Abecedaire^ ii., 62. 

1 See Appendix D. 

- " Volumuset expresse mandamus, ut quicunque istis temporibus castella 
et firmitates et haias sine nostro verbo fecerint, Kalendis Augusti omnes 
tales firmitates disfactas habeant ; quia vicini et circummanentes exinde 
multas depredationes et impedimenta sustinent." Capitularia Regum 
Francorum^ Boretius, ii., 328. 



It 



IN THE TENTH CENTURY 69 

stralghtly ordered that all who had made castles, forts, 
or hedge- works without his permission should forthwith 
be compelled to destroy them, because through them the 
whole neighbourhood suffered depredation and annoy- 
ance. This edict shows, we might argue, that private 
castles were sufficiently numerous by the year 864 to 
have become a public nuisance, calling for special 
legislation. But the chronicles of the second half of the 
9th century do not reveal any extensive prevalence of 
private castles. Indeed, after studying all the most 
important chronicles of Neustria and Austrasia during 
this period, the present writer has only been able to find 
four instances of fortifications which have any claim at 
all to be considered private castles ; and even this claim 
is doubtful.^ 

When we come to the chroniclers of the middle of 
the loth century we find a marked difference. It is true 
that the words castrtun, castelluin, imtnicipium, oppi- 
dtivty nninitio, are still used quite indifferently by 
Flodoard and other writers for one and the same thing, 
and that in a great many cases they obviously mean a 
fortified town. But there are other cases where they 
evidently mean a castle. And if we compare these 
writers with the earlier ones in the same way as we have 
already compared the pre-Conquest portion of the Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle with the chroniclers of the nth and 

' These instances are as follows : — 868, A certain Acfrid shut himself up 
in a casa firmissima in the villa of Bellus Pauliacus on the Loire, and it was 
burnt over his head {Annales Bertinianoruyn^ pp. Migne, 125, 1237) ; 878, The 
sons of Goisfrid attack the castellum and lands of the son of Odo {ibid.^ p. 
1286); 879, Louis the Germanic besieges some men of Hugh, son of Lothaire, 
in quodam castello juxta Viridunum : he takes and destroys the castellum 
{Annals of Fulda, Pertz, i., 393); 906, Gerard and Matfrid fortify themselves 
in a certain castrum, in a private war {Regino, Pertz, i., 611). Sismondi 
states that the great nobles wrested from Louis-le-Begue (877-879) the right 
^|» of building private castles. So far, we have been unable to find any original 
authority for this statement. 



70 THE ORIGIN OF TRIVATE CASTLES 

1 2th centuries, we find the same contrast between them. 
In the pages of Flodoard or Ademar the action 
constantly turns on the building, besieging, and burning 
of castles, which by whatever name they are called, have 
every appearance of being private castles. In fact 
before we get to the end of the century, the private 
castle is as much the leading feature of the drama as it 
is in the nth or 12th centuries. 

Why, then, had the chroniclers no fresh word for a 
thing which was in its essential nature so novel ? The 
obvious and only answer Is that the private castle in its 
earlier stages was nothing more than an embankment 
with a wooden stockade thrown round some villa or 
farm belonging to a private owner, and was therefore 
indistinguishable in appearance, though radically differ- 
ent In idea, from the fortifications which had hitherto 
been thrown up for the protection of the community.^ 
How easily we may be mistaken in the meaning of the 
word castelhcm, if we interpret it according to modern 
ideas, may be seen by comparing the account of the 
bridge built by Charlemagne over the Elbe, in the 
Annales Laurissenses, with Eginhard's narrative of the 
same affair. The former states that Charlemagne built 
2,,ccistellum of wood and earth at each end of the bridge, 
while the latter tells us that it was a vallum to protect a 
garrison which he placed there. This, however, was a 
w^ork of public utility, and not a private castle. But 
scanty as the evidence Is, It all leads us to infer that 
the first private castles were fortifications of this simple 
nature.^ MazIeres-on-the-Meuse, which was besieged 

^ See Guizot, Histoire de la Civilisation^ iii., 309. " On voit les villce 
s'entourer peu k peu de fosses, de remparts de terre, de quelques apparences 
de fortifications." 

2 We hear of monasteries being fortified in this way ; in 869 Charles the 
Bald drew a bank of wood and stone round the monastery of St Denis ; 



TOWERS 71 

for four weeks by Archbishop Hervey, took Its name 
from the macerias or banks which Count Erlebald had 
constructed around it. It is impossible to say whether 
this enclosure should be called a castle or a town, but in 
idea it was certainly a castle, since it was an enclosure 
formed for private, not for public interests. 

Whether these first private castles were provided 
with towers we have no evidence either to prove or to 
disprove. No instance occurs from which we can 
conclude that they possessed any kind of citadel, before 
the middle of the loth century.-^ But before the century 
is far advanced, we hear of towers in connection with 
the great towns, which, whether they were originally 
mural towers or not, are evidently private strongholds, 
and may justly be called keeps. The earliest instance 
known to the writer is in 924, when the tower of the 
pf^esidhim where Herbert Count of Vermandois had 
imprisoned Charles the Simple was burnt accidentally.^ 
This tower must have been restored, as nine years later 
it withstood a six weeks' siege from King Raoul. A 
possibly earlier instance is that of Nantes, where Bishop 
Fulcher had made a castle in 889 ; for when this castle 
was restored by Count Alan Barbetorte (937-943), we arc 

" castellum in gyro ipsius monasterii ex ligno et lapide conficere coepit." 
Ann. Beritnian, Migne, pp. 125, 1244. In 889 the Bishop of Nantes made a 
castrum of his church by enclosing it with a wall, and this wall appears to 
have had a tower. Chron. Namnetense^ p. 45, in Lobineau^s Bretagne^ vol. 
ii. In 924 Archbishop Hervey made a castellum of the monastery of St 
Remi by enclosing it with a wall. Flodoard^ p. 294 (Migne). But the fortifica- 
tion of monasteries was a very different thing from the fortification of private 
castles. 

^ In 951 Duke Conrad, being angry with certain men of Lorraine, threw 
down the towers of some of them ; these may have been the keeps of private 
castles. Flodoard, Annates^ p. 477. 

2 Presidium is one of those vague words which chroniclers love to use ; 
it means a defence of any kind, and may be a town, a castle, or a garrison. 
The town in which this turris stood appears by the context to have been 
Chateau Thierry. Cf. Y\o6,o2,xA^ Annales^ pp. 924, with 933. 



72 THE ORIGIN OF PRIVATE CASTLES 

told that he restored the principal tower and made It 
into his own house.-^ Count Herbert built a keep in 
Laon before 931 ; and this appears to have been a 
different tower to the one attached to the royal house 
which Louis d'Outremer had built at the gate of the 
city.^ We hear also of towers at Amiens (950), Coucy 
(958), Chalons (963), and Rhelms (988). All these 
towers, it will be observed, are connected with towns.^ 
The first stone keep in the country for whose date we 
have positive evidence, is that of Langeals, built by Fulk 
Nerra, Count of Anjou, about the year 994 ; its ruins still 
exist. 

But we are concerned more particularly herewith the 
origin of the motte-and-bailey castle. The exact place 
or time of its first appearance is still a matter of 
conjecture. Certainly there is not a word in the 
chronicles which is descriptive of this kind of castle 
before the beginning of the nth century.^ The first 
historical mention of a castle which Is clearly of the 
motte-and-bailey kind Is In the Chronicle of St Florent 

^ "Castrum muro factum circa earn [ecclesiam]." Chron. Najnnetense^ 
p. 45. " Precepit [Alanus] eis terrarium magnum in circuitu Ecclesioe facere, 
sicut murus prioris castri steterat, quo facto turrem principalem reficiens^ 
in ea domum suam constitit." Ibid. 

2 Flodoard, Annales^ pp. 931 and 949. This tower was heightened by 
Charles, the last of the Carlovingians, and furnished with a ditch and bank, 
in 988. 

2 It is often supposed that these towers were derived from the Pretoria^ 
or general's quarters in the Roman castra. It is far more probable that they 
were derived from mural towers. The Pretorium was not originally fortified, 
and it was placed in the centre of the Roman camp. But one great object 
of the feudal keep was to have communication with the open country. The 
keep of Laon was certainly on the line of the walls, as Bishop Ascehn 
escaped from it down a rope in 989, and got away on a horse which was 
waiting for him. Palgrave, England a?id Nor?na?idy, ii., 880. 

^ The word motte or 7nota does not occur in any contemporary 
chronicle, as far as is known to the writer, before the 12th century ; nor is 
the word dangio to be found in any writer earlier than Ordericus. But the 
thing certainly existed earlier. 



FULK NERRA 73 

le Viell, where, at a date which the modern biographer of 
Fulk Nerra fixes at loio, we learn that this same Count 
of Anjou built a castle on the western side of the hill 
Mont-Glonne, at St Florent le VIell, on the Loire, and 
threw up an agger on which he built a wooden tower. -^ 
In this case the word agger evidently means a motte. 
But Fulk began to reign In 987 ; he was a great builder 
of castles, and was famed for his skill In military affairs.^ 
One of his first castles, built between 991 and 994, was 
at Montbazon, not far from Tours. About 500 
metres from the later castle of Montbazon Is a motte 
and outworks, which De Salles not unreasonably 
supposes to be the original castle of Fulk.^ Mont- 
rlchard, Chateaufort, Cherament, Montboyau, and 
Bauge are all castles built by Fulk, and all have or had 
mottes. Montboyau Is the clearest case of all, as It was 
demolished by Fulk a few years after he built It, and has 
never been restored, so that the immense motte and out- 
works which are still to be seen remain very much In 
their original state, except that a modern tower has been 
placed on the motte, which Is now called Bellevue.* 

^ [Fulk and his son Geoffrey] in occidentali parte montis castellum 
determinaverunt. . . . Aggerem quoque in prospectu monasterii cum turre 
lignea erexerunt." Chron. St Florentii^ in Lobineau's Bretagnc^ ii., 87. Some 
remains of this motte are still visible. De Salies, Foulques Nerra^ p. 263. 

2 " Elegantissimus in rebus bellicis " is the quaint language of the 
Angevin chronicler, 176. 

'^ See De Salies, Histoire de Foulques Nerra, which indirectly throws 
considerable light on the archaeological question. 

^ Salies, Histoire de Foulques Nerra, p. 170. M. Enlart, in his Manuel 
d Archaologie Francaise, ii., 495, has been misled about this castle by the 
Chronicon Andegavense, which says: "Odo. . . . Fulconem expugnare 
speravit, et totis nisibus adorsus est. Annoque presenti (1025) Montis Budelli 
castellum, quod circiter annos decern retro abhinc contra civitatem Turoni- 
cam firmaverat Fulco, obsedit, et turrim ligneam mirae altitudinis super 
domgionem ipsius castri erexit." Bouquet, x., 176. M. Enlart takes this to 
be the first recorded instance of a motte. But the passage is evidently 
corrupt, as the other accounts of this affair show that Count Odo's wooden 



74 THE ORIGIN OF PRIVATE CASTEES 

It was a tempting theory at one time to the writer 
to see In Fulk Nerra the Inventor of the motte type of 
castle, for Independently of his fame In military archi- 
tecture, he Is the first mediaeval chieftain who Is known 
to have employed mercenary troops/ Now as we have 
already suggested In Chapter I., the plan of the motte- 
and-balley castle strongly suggests that there may be 
a connection between Its adoption and the use of 
mercenaries. For the plan of this kind of castle seems 
to hint that the owner does not only mistrust his 
enemies, he also does not completely trust his garrison. 
The keep in which he and his family live Is placed on 
the top of the motte, which Is ditched round so as to 
separate it from the bailey ; the provisions on which all 
are dependent are stored in the cellar of the keep, so 
that they are under his own hand ; and the keys of the 
outer ward are brought to him every night, and placed 
under his pillow.^ 

But unfortunately for this theory, there Is some 
evidence of the raising of mottes at an earlier period In 
the loth century than the accession of Fulk Nerra. 
Thibault-le-Trlcheur, who was Count of Blois and 
Chartres from 932 to 962, was also a great builder, and 
it is recorded of him that he built the keeps of Chartres, 

tower was a siege engine, employed to attack Fulk's castle, and afterwards 
burnt by the besieged. See the Gesta Ambasicns. Dom.^ ibid., p. 257, and 
the Chro?i. St Flore?itii. Probably we should read contra domgionem 
instead of super. The Chronicon Andegavense was written in the reign of 
Henry II. 

^ When Fulk invaded Bretagne in or about 992, he collected an army 
"tarn de suis quam conductitiis." Richerius, edition Guadet. The editor 
remarks that this is perhaps the first example of the use of mercenaries 
since the time of the Romans (ii., 266). Spannagel, citing Peter Damian, 
says that mercenaries were already common at the end of the loth century. 
Zur Geschichte des Deutschen Heerwesens, pp. 72, 73. 

'■^ This was always the custom in mediaeval castles. See Cohausen, 
Befestigiingen der Vorzeit, p. 282. 



USE OF THE MOTTE 7 



b 



Chateaudun,^ Blois, and Chlnon,^ and the castle of 
Saumur ; these must have been finished before 962. 
Now there was anciently a motte at Blois, for in the 
1 2th century, Fulk V. of Anjou burnt the whole fortress, 
''except the house on the rnotte^^ There was also a 
motte at Saumur ;^ and the plan of the castle of Chinon 
is not inconsistent with the existence of a former motte.^ 
These instances seem to put back the existence of the 
motte castle to the middle of the loth century. 

We know of no earlier claim than this, unless we 
were to accept the statement of Lambert of Ardres that 
Sigfrid the Dane, who occupied the county of Guisnes 
about the year 928, fortified the town, and enclosed his 
own dttnio with a double ditch. ^ If this were true, we 
have a clear instance of a motte built in the first half of 
the loth century. But Lambert's work was written at 
the end of the 12th century, with the object of glorifying 

^ " Qui vivens turres altas construxit et aedes, Unam Carnotum, sed apud 
Dunense reatum." Chron. St Florentii. 

- Chron. Namnetensc^ Lobineau, ii., 47. 

^ Gesta Ainbasiensiufn Doniinonnn, in Spicilegzum, p. 273. 

* Guide Joanne, p. 234. 

'^ The furthest point of the headland on which the castle is placed is a 
small circular court, with a fosse on all sides but the precipices. From 
personal visitation. 

^ Dunio is subsequently explained by Lambert as motte : " Motam altis- 
simam sive dunionem eminentem in munitionis signum firmavit." Lamberti 
Ardensis, p. 613. It is the same word as the Saxon dun, a hill (preserved 
in our South Downs), and has no connection with the Irish and Gaelic dun, 
which is cognate with the German zaun, a hedge, A.-S. tun, and means a 
hedged or fortified place. The form dange appears in Northern France, 
and this seems to be the origin of the word do^ngio or dangio which we find 
in the chroniclers, the modern form of which is donjon. If we accept this 
etymology, we must believe that the word dunio or donigio was originally 
applied to the hill, and not to the tower on the hill, to which it was after- 
wards transferred. It is against this view that Ordericus, writing some fifty 
years before Lambert, uses the form dangio in the sense of a tower. Pro- 
fessor Skeat and the New English Dictionary derive the word donjon or 
dungeo7i from Low Lat. dotnnionem, ace. of doinjiio, thus connecting it 
with dominiis, as the seignorial residence. 



76 THE ORIGIN OF PRIVATE CASTLES 

the counts of Gulsnes, and its editor regards the early 
part of it as fabulous. That Sigfrid fortified the toivn 
of Guisnes we can easily believe, as we know the Danes 
commonly did the like (see Chapter IV.); but that he 
built himself a personal castle is unlikely.^ 

It is the more unlikely, because the Danes in 
Normandy do not appear to have built personal castles 
until the feudal system was introduced there by Richard 
Sans Peur. The settlement in Normandy was not on 
feudal lines. ** Rollo divided out the lands among his 
powerful comrades, and there is scarcely any doubt that 
they received these lands as inheritable property, without 
any other pledge than to help Rollo in the defence of 
the country." ^ '' The Norman constitution at Rollo's 
death can be described thus, that the duke ruled the 
country as an independent prince in relation to the 
Franks ; but for its internal government he had a council 
at his side, whose individual members felt themselves 
almost as powerful as the duke himself."^ Sir Francis 
Palgrave asserts that feudalism was introduced into 
Normandy by the Duke Richard Sans Peur, the 
grandson of Rollo, towards the middle of the loth 
century. He ''enforced a most extensive conversion 
of allodial lands into feudal tenure," and exacted from 
his baronage the same feudal submission which he 
himself had rendered to Hugh Capet. ^ 

It is quite in accordance with this that in the 
narrative of Dudo, who is our only authority for the 
history of Normandy in the loth century, there is no 
mention of a private castle anywhere. We are told 

^ Ducange conjectured that the motte-castle took its origin in Flanders, 
but it was probably the passage cited above from Lambert which led him to 
this conclusion. See art. "Mota" in Ducange's Glossariiun. 

'^ Steenstrup, Normanjierne^ i., 297. ^ Ibid.^ i., 301. 

^ England and Normandy^ ii-j 535* 



THE INVENTION OF MOTTES 77 

that Rollo restored the walls and towers of the cities of 
Normandy/ and it is clear from the context that the 
castra of Rouen, Fecamp, and Evreux, which are men- 
tioned, are fortified cities, not castles. Even the ducal 
residence at Rouen is spoken of as a palatiicm or an 
aula, not as a castle ; and it does not appear to have 
possessed a keep until (as we are told by a later writer) 
the same Duke Richard who introduced the feudal 
system into Normandy built one for his own residence.^ 
It is possible that when the feudal oath was exacted 
from the more important barons, permission was given 
to them to build castles for themselves ; thus we hear 
from Ordericus of the castle of Aquila, built in the days 
of Duke Richard ; the castle of the lords of Grantmesnil 
at Norrei ; the castle of Belesme ; all of which appear 
to have been private castles.^ But there seems to have 
been no general building of castles until the time of 
William the Conqueror's minority, when his rebellious 
subjects raised castles against him on all sides. ''Plura 
per loca aggeres erexerunt, et tutissimas sibi munitiones 
construxerunt." * It is generally, and doubtless cor- 
rectly, supposed that agge^xs in this passage means 
mottes, and taking this statement along with the great 
number of mottes which are still to be found in 
Normandy, it has been further assumed (and the present 
writer was disposed to share the idea) that this was the 
time of the first invention of mottes. But the facts 

^ " Muros et propugnacula civitatum refecit et augmentavit." Dudo, p. 
85 (Duchesne's edition). 

- Henricus rex circa turrem Rothomagi, qua77i ccdijicavit pjHtnus 
Richardiis dux Normannoruin in palatium sibi, murum altum et latum cum 
propugnaculis ffidificat." Robert of Toringy, R.S., p. 106. 

^ Ordericus, ii., 15, 17, 46 (edition Prevost). 

' Williiwi of fni/iic^cs, anno 1035. Mr Freeman remarks that the 
language of William would lead us to suppose that the practice* of castle- 
building was new. 



78 THE ORIGIN OF PRIVATE CASTLES 

which have been now adduced, tracing back the first 
known mottes to the time of Thibault-le-Tricheur, and 
the county of Blois, show that the Norman claim to the 
invention of this mode of fortification must be given up. 
If the Normans were late in adopting feudalism, they 
were probably equally late in adopting private castles, 
and the fortifications of William I.'s time were most 
likely copied from castles outside the Norman frontier.^ 

It might be thought that the general expectation of 
the end of the world in the year looo, which prevailed 
towards the end of the loth century, had something to 
do with the spread of these wooden castles, as it might 
have seemed scarcely worth while to build costly 
structures of stone. But it is not necessary to resort 
to this hypothesis, because there is quite sufficient 
evidence to show that long before this forecast of doom 
was accepted, wood was a very common, if not the 
commonest, material used in fortification. The reader 
has only to open his Csesar to see how familiar wooden 
towers and wooden palisades were to the Romans ; and 
he has only to study carefully the chronicles of the 
9th, loth, nth, and 12th centuries to see how all- 
prevalent this mode of fortification continued to be. 
The general adoption of the feudal system must have 
brought about a demand for cheap castles, which was 
excellently met by the motte with its wooden keep and 
its stockaded bailey. M. Enlart has pointed out that 

1 There are some facts which render it probable that the earliest castles 
built in Normandy were without mottes, and were simple enclosures like 
those we have described already. Thus the castle of the great family of 
Montgomeri is an enclosure of this simple kind. Domfront, built by 
William Talvas in Duke Robert's time, has no motte. On the other hand, 
Ivry, built by the Countess Albereda in Duke Richard I.'s days, "on the 
top of a hill overlooking the town" (William of Jumieges), may possibly 
have been a motte ; and there is a motte at Norrei, which we have just 
mentioned as an early Norman castle. 



SUM OF THE EVIDEN'CE 79 

wooden defences have one important advantage over 
stone ones, their greater cohesion, which enabled them 
to resist the blows of the battering-ram better than 
rubble masonry.^ Their great disadvantage was their 
liability to fire ; but this was obviated, as in the time of 
the Romans, by spreading wet hides over the outsides. 
Stone castles were still built, where money and means 
w*ere available, as we see from Fulk Nerra's keep at 
Langeais ; but the devastations of the Northmen had 
decimated the population of Gaul ; labour must have 
been dear, and skilled masons hard to find. In these 
social and economic reasons we have sufficient cause for 
the rapid spread of wooden castles in France. 

The sum of the evidence which we have been 
reviewing is this : the earliest mottes which we know of 
were probably built by Thibault-le-Tricheur about the 
middle of the loth century. But in the present state of 
our knowledge we must leave the question of the time 
and place of their first origin open. The only thing 
about which we can be certain is that they were the 
product of feudalism, and cannot have arisen till it had 
taken root ; that is to say, not earlier than the loth 
century. 

^ Manuel d' Archaologie Fran^atse, p. 457. 



CHAPTER VI 

DISTRIBUTION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF MOTTE-CASTLES 

The motte-and-bailey type of castle is to be found 
throughout feudal Europe, but is probably more 
prevalent in France and the British Isles than any- 
where else. We sdij pj^obabfy, because there are as yet 
no statistics prepared on which to base a comparison.^ 
How recent the inquiry into this subject is may be 
learned from the fact that Krieg von Hochfelden, 
writing in 1859, denied the existence of mottes in 
Germany;^ and even Cohausen in 1898 threw doubt 

^ This want will be supplied, as regards England, by the completion of 
the Victoria Cou7ity Histories^ and as regards France, by the Societe 
Prchisioriqiie^ which is now undertaking a catalogue of all the earthworks 
of France. The late M. Mortillet, in an article in the Revue Me?isuelle de 
PEcole d'Ayitkropologie, viii., 1895, published two lists, one of actual mottes 
in France, the other of place-names in which the word motte is incorporated. 
Unfortunately the first list is extremely defective, and the second, as it only 
relates to the name, is not a safe guide to the proportional numbers of the 
thing. All that the lists prove is that mottes are to be found in all parts of 
France, and that place-names into which the word motte enters seem to be 
more abundant in Central France than anywhere else. It is possible that a 
careful examination of local chroniclers may lead to the discovery of some 
earlier motte-builder than Thibault-le-Tricheur. We should probably know 
more about Thibault's castles were it not that the Pays Chartrain, as 
Palgrave says, is almost destitute of chroniclers. 

2 Cited at length by De Caumont, Bulletin Monumental^ ix., 246. Von 
Hochfelden considered that the origin of feudal fortresses in Germany 
hardly goes back to the loth century ; only great dukes and counts then 
thought of fortifying their manors ; those of the small nobility date at 
earliest from the end of the 12th century. 

80 



MOTTE-CASTLES 81 

upon them,^ although General Kohler In 1887 had 
already declared that *'the researches of recent years 
have shown that the motte was spread over the whole 
of Germany, and was in use even In the 13th and 14th 
centuries."^ The greater number of the castles 
described by Piper In his work on Austrian castles are 
on the motte-and-balley plan, though the motte in 
those mountainous provinces Is generally of natural 
rock, Isolated either by nature or art. Mottes were not 
uncommon In Italy, according to Muratori,^ and are 
especially frequent in Calabria, where we may strongly 
suspect that they were Introduced by the Norman 
conqueror, Robert Gulscard/ It is not improbable that 
the Franks of the first crusade planted In Palestine the 
type of castle to which they were accustomed at home, 
for several of the excellent plans In Rey s Architecture 
des Croisds show clearly enough the motte-and-bailey 
plan/ In most of these cases the motte was a natural 
rock. 

On the other hand, we are told by Kohler that 
motte-castles are not found among the Slavonic nations, 
because they never adopted the feudal system.* Nor 
are there any In Norway or Sweden.^ Denmark has 

^ Die Befestigungen der Vorzeit, p. 28. 

^ Entwickelung des Kriegsivesens^ iii., 370. 

2 Antiquitates ItaliccE^ ii., 504. He says they are many times mentioned 
both in charters and chronicles in Italy. 

* We hear of Robert Guiscard building a wooden castle on a hill at 
Rocca di St Martino in 1047. Amari, Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia, 
i., 43. Several place-names in Italy and Sicily are compounded with motta^ 
as the Motta Sant' Anastasia in Sicily. See Amari, ibid.^ p. 220. 

^ Especially Montfort and Blanchegarde. But there is a wide field for 
further research both in Palestine and Sicily. 

" "Bei den Sclaven haben die Chateaux-k-motte keinen Eingang 
gefunden, weil ihnen das Lehnswesen fremd geblieben ist." iii., 338. 

^ Professor Montelius informed the writer that they are quite unknown 
in Norway or Sweden ; and Dr Christison obtained an assurance to the 
same effect from Herr Hildebrand. 

r 



82 MOTTE-CASTT.ES 

some, which are attributed by Dr Sophus Muller to the 
mediaeval period.^ 

Of course whenever a motte was thrown up, the first 
castle upon it must have been a wooden one. A stone 
keep could not be placed on loose soil.^ The motte, 
therefore, must always represent the oldest castle. But 
there is no reason to think that the motte and its 
wooden keep were merely temporary expedients, intended 
always to be replaced as soon as possible by stone 
buildings. Even after stone castles had been fully 
developed, wood continued to hold its ground as a solid 
building material until a very late period.^ And mottes 
were used not only throughout the nth and 12th 
centuries, but even as late as the 13th. King John 
built many castles of this type in Ireland ; and as late 
as 1242 Henry III. ordered a motte and wooden castle 
to be built in the island of Rhe.^ Muratori gives a 
much later instance: in 1320 Can Grande caused a 
ofreat motte to be built near Pavia, and surrounded with 
a ditch and hedge, in order to build a castle on it.^ 

^ "These are small well-defended places, the stronghold of the individual, 
built for a great man and his followers, and answering to mediaeval 
conditions, to a more or less developed feudal system." Vor Oldttd, p. 642. 

2 I am informed by a skilled engineer that even in the wet climate of 
England it would take about ten years for the soil to settle sufficiently to 
bear a stone building. 

2 Kohler says : " By far the greater part of the castles of the Teutonic 
knights in Prussia, until the middle of the fourteenth century, were of wood 
and earth." Die Eiitwickelung des Kriegswesen^ iii., 376, 

^ Cal. of Patent Rolls ^ 1232- 1247, p. 340. Mandate to provost of Oleron to 
let Frank De Brene have tools to make a new motte in the isle of Rhe. 
Later the masters and crews of the king's galleys are ordered to help in 
building the motte and the wooden castle. P. 343. 

^ Antiquitates ItaliccB, ii., 504. Can Grande's motte at Padua. Anno 
1320. " DominusAlternerius[podesta of Padua] . . . cum maxima quantitate 
peditum et balistariorum Civitatis Paduse, iverunt die predicto summo mane 
per viam Pontis Corvi versus quamdam motam magnam, quam faciebat 
facere Dominus Canis, cum multis fossis et tajatis ad claudendum 
Paduanos, ne exirent per illam partem, et volendo ibidem super illam 



THEIR DISTRIBUTION 83 

And as will be seen in the next chapter, there Is 
considerable evidence that many mottes In England 
which were set up in the reign of William I., retained 
their wooden towers or stockades even till as late as the 
relofn of Edward I. The motte at Drogheda held out 
some time against Cromwell, and is spoken of by him 
I as a very strong place, having a good graft (ditch) and 
' strongly palisaded.^ Tickhill Castle In Yorkshire had a 
palisade on the counterscarp of the ditch when It was 
taken by Cromwell." 

The position of these motte-castles is wholly 
different from that of prehistoric fortresses. They are 
almost invariably placed in the arable country, and as 
a rule not In isolated situations, but in the Immediate 
neighbourhood of towns or villages. It Is rare indeed 
to find a motte-castle in a wild, mountainous situation 
In England. The only Instance which occurs to the 
writer is that of the motte on the top of the Hereford 
Beacon ; but there is great probability that this was a 
post fortified by the Bishop of Hereford In the 13th 
century to protect his game from the Earl of Gloucester. 
Nothing pointing to a prehistoric origin was found in 
this motte when it was excavated by Mr Hilton Price,^ 
though the camp In which it is placed is supposed to 
be prehistoric. 

The great majority of mottes in England are planted 

motam asdificare castrum. Tunc praedictus Potestas cum aliis nominatis 
splanare incceperunt, et difecerunt dictam motam cum tajatis et fossa 
magna." 

We may remark here that as early as the 17th century the learned 
Muratori protested against the equation of inota 2ir\d.fossaiujn^ and laughed 
at Spelman for making this translation of 7nofa in his Glossary. Antiqui- 
tates Italiccp.^ ii., 504. 

* Cited by VJ&siro\i^i JourTtal of R.S. A., Ireland^ 1904. 

^ Vicars' Parliajnentary Chronicle., cited by Hunter, South Yorks^ 
ii., 235. = "Camps on the Malvern WWl-^^'^ Journ. Anthrop. Inst.., x., 319. 



84 MOTTE-CASTLES 

either on or near Roman or other ancient roads, or on 
navigable rivers.^ It was essential to the Norman 
settlers that they should be near some road which would 
help them to visit their other estates, which William had 
been so careful to scatter, and would also enable them to 
revisit from time to time their estates in Normandy.^ 
The rivers of England were much fuller of water in 
mediaeval times than they are now, and were much more 
extensively used for traffic ; they were real waterways. 
When we find a motte perched on a river which is not 
navigable, the purpose probably was to defend some 
ford, or to exact tolls from passengers. Thus the Ferry 
Hill (corrupted into Fairy Hill) at Whitwood stands at 
the spot where the direct road from Pontefract to Leeds 
would cross the Calder. It was probably not usual for 
the motte to be dependent on a stream or a spring for 
its supply of water, and this is another point in which 
the mediaeval castle differs markedly from the prehistoric 
camp ; wells have been found in a number of mottes 
which have been excavated, and it is probable that this 
was the general plan, though we have not sufficient 
statistics on this subject as yet.^ 

Occasionally, but very rarely, we find two mottes in 
the same castle. The only instances in England known 
to the writer are at Lewes and Lincoln.^ It is not 

^ M. de Salies has traced in detail the connection between Fulk Nerra's 
castles and the Roman roads of Anjou and Touraine. 

2 See some excellent remarks on this subject in Mr W. St John Hope's 
paper on "English Fortresses" in Arch. Journ.^ Ix., 72-90. 

3 Only a very small number of mottes have as yet been excavated. 
Wells were found at Almondbury, Berkeley, Berkhampstead, Carisbrook, 
Conisborough, Kenilworth, Northallerton, Norwich, Pontefract, Oxford, Tun- 
bridge, Worcester, and York. At Cans, there is a well in the ditch between 
the motte and the bailey. Frequently there is a second well in the bailey. 

* The writer at one time thought that the ruins at the east end of the 
castle of Pontefract concealed a second motte, but wishes now to recant 
this opinion. Eng. Hist. Review^ xix., 419. 



*i 



SIEGE CASTLES 85 

unfrequent to find a motte very near a stone castle. In 
this case it is either the abandoned site of the oriofinal 
wooden castle, or it is a siege castle raised to blockade 
the other one. We constantly hear of these siege 
castles being built in the Middle Ages ; their purpose 
was not for actual attack, but to watch the besieged fort 
and prevent supplies from being carried in.^ Hillocks 
were also thrown up for the purpose of placing balistce 
and other siege engines upon them ; but these would be 
much smaller than mottes, and would be placed much 
nearer the walls than blockade castles. 

The mottes of France are in all probability much 
more decidedly military than those of England. 
France was a land of private war, after the dissolution 
of the empire of Charlemagne ; and no doubt one of the 
reasons for the rapid spread of the motte-castle, after its 
invention, was due to the facilities which it offered for 
this terrible game. In England the reasons for the 
erection of mottes seem to have been manorial rather 
than military ; that is, the Norman landholder desired a 
safe residence for himself amidst a hostile peasantry, 
rather than a strong military position which could hold 
out against skilful and well-armed foes. 

Attached to the castle, both in England and abroad, 
we frequently find an additional enclosure, much larger 
than the comparatively small area of the bailey proper. 
This was the burgus or borough, which inevitably 
sprang up round every castle which had a lengthened 
existence. Our older antiquaries, finding that the word 
bu7ge7ises was commonly used in Domesday in connection 

^ Thus Henry I. erected a siege castle to watch Bridgenorth (probably 
Pampudding Hill), and then went off to besiege another castle. Mr Orpen 
kindly informs me that the camp from which Philip Augustus besieged 
Chateau Gaillard contains a motte. Outside Pickering, Corfe, and Exeter 
there are earthworks which have probably been siege castles. 



86 MOTTE-CASTLES 

with a site where a castle existed, formed the mistaken 
idea that a burgus necessarily implied a castle. But a 
burgus was the same thing as a burh, that is, a borotigh 
or fortified town. It may have existed long before the 
castle, or it may have been created after the castle was 
built. The latter case was very common, for the noble 
who built a castle would find it to his advantage to 
build a burgus near it.^ In exchange for the protection 
offered by the borough wall or bank, he could demand 
gablum or rent from the burghers ; he could compel 
them to grind their corn at his mill, and bake their 
bread at his oven ; he could exact tolls on all com- 
modities entering the borough ; and if there was a 
market he would receive a certain percentage on all 
sales. The borough was therefore an important source 
of revenue to the baron. Domesday Book mentions the 
7tew borough at Rhuddlan, evidently built as soon as the 
castle had been planted on the deserted banks of the 
Clwydd. In some cases a ''new borough" is clearly a 
new suburb, doubtless having its own fortifications, 
built specially for the protection of the Norman settlers 
in England, as at Norwich and Nottingham.^ 

That even in the 12th century a motte was considered 
an essential feature of a castle is shown by Neckham's 
treatise '* De Utensilibus," where he gives directions as to 
how a castle should be built ; the motte should be 
placed on a site well defended by nature ; it should have 
a stockade of squared logs round the top ; the keep 
on the motte should be furnished with turrets and 
battlements, and crates of stones for missiles should be 

^ Henry II. built a castle and very fine borough (burgum pergrande) at 
Beauvoir in Maine. Robert of Torig?iy^ R.S., p. 243. Minute regulations 
concerning the founding of the borough of Overton are given in Close Rolls, 
Edward I. (1288-1296), p. 285. 

^ See Round, Studies in Domesday^ pp. 125, 126. 



THE EVIDENCE OF TAPESTRY 87 

always provided, as well as a perpetual spring of water, 
and secret passages and posterns, by which help might 
reach the besieged.-^ 

What the outward appearance of these motte-castles 
was we learn from the Bayeux Tapestry, which gives us 
several Instructive pictures of motte-castles existing In 
the nth century at Dol, Rennes, DInan, and Bayeux.^ 
There is considerable variety in these pictures, and 
something no doubt must be ascribed to fancy ; but all 
show the main features of a stockade round the top of 
the motte, enclosing a wooden tower, a ditch round the 
foot of the motte, with a bank on the counterscarp, 
and a stepped wooden bridge, up which horses were 
evidently trained to climb, leading across the moat to 
the stockade of the motte. In no case Is the bailey 
distinctly depicted, but we may assume that It has been 
already taken, and that the horsemen are riding over it 
to the gate-house which (In the picture of DInan) stands 
at the foot of the bridge. The towers appear to be 
square, but In the case of Rennes and Bayeux, are 
surmounted by a cupola roof. Decoration does not 
appear to be have been neglected, and the general 
appearance of the buildings, far from being of a make- 
shift character, must have been very picturesque. 

The picture of the building of the motte at Hastings 
shows only a stockade on top of the motte ; this may be 
because the artist intended to represent the work as 
incomplete. What Is remarkable about this picture is 
that the motte appears to be formed in layers of 
different materials. We might ascribe this to the fancy 

1 Neckham, " De Utensilibus," in Wright's Volu?ne of Vocabularies^ pp. 
103, 104. Unfortunately this work of Neckham's was not written to 
explain the construction of motte castles, but to furnish his pupils with the 
Latin names of familiar things ; a good deal of it is very obscure now. 

^ See frontispiece. 



88 MOTTE-CASTLES 

of the embroiderer, were It not that layers of this kind 
have occasionally been found in mottes which have been 
excavated or destroyed. Thus the motte at Carisbrook, 
which was opened in 1903, was found to be composed of 
alternate layers of large and small chalk rubble. In 
some cases, layers of stones have been found ; in others 
(as at York and Burton) a motte formed of loose 
material has been cased in a sort of pie-crust of heavy 
clay. In the Castle Hill at Hallaton in Leicestershire 
layers of peat and hazel branches, as well as of clay 
and stone boulders, were found. But our information on 
this subject is too scanty to justify any generalisations 
as to the general construction of mottes. 

The pictures shown in the Bayeux Tapestry agree 
very well with the description given by a 12th-century 
writer of the castle of Merchem, near Dixmlide, in the 
life of John, Bishop of Terouenne, who died in 11 30. 
" Bishop John used to stay frequently at Merchem when 
he was going round his diocese. Near the churchyard 
was an exceedingly high fortification, which might be 
called a castle or mu7iicipiuni^ built according to the 
fashion of that country by the lord of the manor many 
years before. For it is the custom of the nobles of that 
region, who spend their time for the most part in private 
war, in order to defend themselves from their enemies 
to make a hill of earth, as high as they can, and encircle 
it with a ditch as broad and deep as possible. They 
surround the upper edge of this hill with a very strong 
wall of hewn logs, placing tow^ers on the circuit, accord- 
ing to their means. Inside this wall they plant their 
house, or keep (arcem), which overlooks the whole thing. 
The entrance to this fortress is only by a bridge, which 
rises from the counterscarp of the ditch, supported on 
double or even triple columns, till it reaches the upper 



THE WOODEN CASTLE OF ARDRES 89 

edge of the motte (agger)." ^ The chronicler goes on to 
relate how this wooden bridge broke down under the 
crowd of people who were following the bishop, and all 
fell 35 feet into the ditch, where the water was up to 
their knees. There is no mention of a bailey In this 
account, but a bailey was so absolutely necessary to 
a residential castle, In order to find room for the 
stables, lodgings, barns, smithies and other work- 
shops, which were necessary dependencies of a feudal 
household, that it can seldom have been omitted, 
and the comparatively rare instances which we find 
of mottes which appear never to have had baileys 
were probably outposts dependent on some more im- 
portant castle. 

Lambert of Ardres, the panegyrist of the counts of 
Gulsnes,^ writing about 1194, gives us a minute and 
most interesting description of the wooden castle of 
Ardres, built about the year 11 17. ''Arnold, lord of 
Ardres, built on the motte of Ardres a wooden house, 
excelling all the houses of Flanders of that period both 
in material and in carpenter's work. The first storey 
was on the surface of the ground, where were cellars 
and granaries, and great boxes, tuns, casks, and other 
domestic utensils. In the storey above were the dwelling 
and common living rooms of the residents, in which were 
the larders, the rooms of the bakers and butlers, and the 
great chamber in which the lord and his wife slept. 
Adjoining this was a private room, the dormitory of the 
waiting maids and children. In the inner part of the 
great chamber was a certain private room, where at 

^ Acta Sanctormn, 27th January, Bolland, iii., 414. This biography 
was written only nine months after Bishop John's death, by an intimate 
friend, John de Collemedio. 

^ Guisnes is now in Picardy, but in the 12th century it was in Flanders, 
which was a fief of the Empire. 



90 MOTTE-CASTLES 

early dawn or in the evening or during sickness or at 
time of blood-letting, or for warming the maids and 
weaned children, they used to have a fire. ... In the 
upper storey of the house were garret rooms, in which 
on the one side the sons (when they wished it) on the 
other side the daughters (because they were obliged) of 
the lord of the house used to sleep. In this storey also 
the watchmen and the servants appointed to keep the 
house took their sleep at some time or other. High up 
on the east side of the house, in a convenient place, was 
the chapel, which was made like unto the tabernacle of 
Solomon in its celling and painting. There were stairs 
and passages from storey to storey, from the house into 
the kitchen, from room to room, and again from the 
house into the loggia (logium), where they used to sit in 
conversation for recreation, and again from the loggia 
into the oratory." ^ 

This description proves that these wooden castles 
were no mere rude sheds for temporary occupation, but 
that they were carefully built dwellings designed for 
permanent residence. The description is useful for the 
light It throws on the stone keeps whose ruins remain to 
us. They probably had very similar arrangements, and 
though only their outside walls are now existing, they 
must have been divided into different rooms by wooden 
partitions which have now perished.^ 

In this account of Lambert's It is further mentioned 
that the kitchen was joined to the house or keep, and 
was a building of two floors, the lower one being 
occupied by live stock, while the upper one was the 
actual kitchen. We must remember that this account 

1 This description is from the Historia Ardensium of Walter de Clusa, 
which is interpolated in the work of Lambert, Bouquet, pp. 13, 624. 

- Yet in some of the later keeps, such as Conisburgh, where we find only 
one window to a storey, the room must have been undivided. 



TERMS AND DETAILS 91 

was written at the end of the 12th century. In the 
earlier and simpler manners of the nth century it is 
probable that the cooking was more generally carried on 
in the open air, as it was among the Anglo-Saxons.^ 
The danger of fire would prevent the development of 
chimneys in wooden castles ; we have seen that there 
was only one in this wonderful castle of Ardres. But 
even after stone castles became common, we have evidence 
that the kitchen was often an isolated building in the 
courtyard. One such kitchen still exists in the monastic 
ruins of Glastonbury. 

The word mota, which was used in the 12th century 
for the artificial hills on which the wooden keeps of these 
castles were placed, comes from an old French word 
motte, meaning a clod of earth, which is still used in 
France for a small earthen hillock.^ The keep itself 
appears to have been called a bretasche, though this word 
seems to have meant a wooden tower of any kind, and 
was used both for mural towers and for the movable 
wooden towers employed for sieges.^ At a much later 
period it was given to the wooden balconies by which 
walls were defended, but the writer has found no instance 
of this use of the w^ord before the 14th century. On the 
contrary, these wooden galleries for the purpose of 
defending the foot of the walls by throwing missiles 
down are called hurdicia or hourdes in the documents, a 

^ See Wright, History of Dofnestic Manners^ p. 26. 

^ According to Littre, the original derivation of the word motte is 
unknown. I have not found any instance of the word inota in chronicles 
earlier than the 12th century, but the reason appears to be that 7nota or 
motte was a folk's word, and appeared undignified to an ambitious writer. 
Thus the author of the Gesta Co7isiilum A7idegavensmm says that Geoffrey 
Martel, Count of Anjou, gave to a certain Fulcoius the fortified house 
which is still called by the vulgar Mota Fulcoii. D'Achery, Spicilegium^ 
p. 257. 

^ See Appendix G. 



92 MOTTE-CASTLES 

word of cognate origin to our word hoarding.^ The 
word bretascke is also of Teutonic origin, akin to the 
German brett, a board. 

The court at the base of the hillock is always called 
the balliu7?i, bayle, or bailey, a word for which Skeat 
suggests the Latin bacillus, a stick, as a possible though 
very doubtful ancestor. The wooden wall which sur- 
rounded this court was the paluin, peluin, or palitium of 
the documents, a word which Mr Neilson has proved to 
be the origin oi\)ci^ peels so common in Lowland Scotland, 
though it has been mistakenly applied to the towers 
enclosed by these peels. ^ The palitium was the stock- 
ade on the inner bank of the ditch which enclosed the 
bailey ; but the outer or counterscarp bank had also its 
special defence, called the heincio, from its bristling nature 
(French hdrissou, a hedgehog). There can be little 
doubt that it was sometimes an actual hedge of brambles, 
at other times of stakes intertwined with osiers or 
thorns.^ 

Thus the words most commonly used in connection 
with these wooden castles are chiefly French in form, 
but a French that is tinctured with Teutonic blood. 
This is just what we might expect, since the first castles 
of feudalism arose on Gallic soil (France or Flanders), 
but on soil which was ruled by men of Teutonic descent. 
We may regard it as fairly certain that it was in the 
region anciently known as Neustria that the motte-castle 
first appeared ; and as we have previously shown, there 
is some reason to think that the centre of that region 

1 See Appendix H. 

2 Peel, its Meaning and Derivation, by George Neilson. 

^ See Appendix I. Cohausen has some useful remarks on the use of 
hedges in fortification. Befestigungen der Vorzeit, pp. 8-13, A quickset 
hedge had the advantage of resisting fire. The word sepes, which properly 
means a hedge, is often applied to the palitium. 



ORIGIN IN FRANCE 93 

was the place where it originated. But this must for 
the present remain doubtful. What we regard as certain 
is that it was from France, and from Normandy in 
particular, that it was introduced into the British Isles ; 
and to those islands we must now turn. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

In this chapter we propose to give a list, in alphabetical 
order for convenience of reference, of the castles which 
are known to have existed in England in the nth century, 
because they are mentioned either in Domesday Book, 
or in charters of the period, or in some contemporary 
chronicle/ We do not for a moment suppose that this 
catalogue of eighty-four castles is a complete list of those 
which were built in England in the reigns of William I. and 
William II. We have little doubt that all the castles in 
the county towns, such as Leicester, Northampton, and 
Guildford, and those which we hear of first as the seats 
of important nobles in the reign of Henry II., such as 
Marlborough, Groby, Bungay, Ongar, were castles built 
shortly after the Conquest, nearly all of them being 
places which have (or had) mottes. Domesday Book 
only mentions fifty castles in England and Wales,^ but 

1 This list or catalogue raisonne was originally published in the English 
Historical Review for 1904 (vol. xix.). It is now reproduced with such 
corrections as were necessary, and with the addition of five more castles, as 
well as of details about thirty-four castles for which there was not space in 
the Review. The Welsh castles are omitted from this list, as they will be 
given in a separate chapter. 

^ The list is brought up to fifty by interpreting the regis domus of 

Winchester to be Winchester castle ; the reasons for this will be given later. 

The number would be increased to fifty-two if we counted Ferle and Bourne 

in Sussex as castles, as Mr Freeman does in his Norman Conquest^ v., 808. 

94 



NORMAN CASTLES IN ENGLAND 95 

it Is well known that the Survey is as capricious In its 
mention of castles as In Its mention of churches. It Is 
possible that further research in charters which the 
writer has been unable to examine may furnish additional 
castles, but the list now given may be regarded as 
complete as far as materials generally accessible will 
allow.^ One of the castles mentioned (Richard's Castle) 
and probably two others (Hereford and Ewias) existed 
before the Conquest ; they were the work of those 
Norman friends of Edward the Confessor whom he 
endowed with lands in England. 

Out of this list of eighty-four castles we shall find 
that no less than seventy-one have or had mottes. The 
exceptions are the Tower of London, Colchester, 
Pevensey, and Chepstow, where a stone keep was part 
of the original design, and a motte was therefore 
unnecessary : Bamborough, Peak, and Tynemouth, 
where the site was sufficiently defended by precipices : 
Carlisle and Richmond, whose original design is un- 
known to us : Belvoir, Dover, Exeter, and Monmouth, 
which might on many grounds be counted as motte- 
castles, but as the evidence is not conclusive, we do 
not mark them as such ; but even if we leave them out, 
with the other exceptions, we shall find that nearly S6 
per cent, of our list of castles of the iith century are of 
the motte-and-bailey type. 

About forty-three of these castles are attached to 

But the language of Domesday seems only to mean that the lands of these 
manors were held of Hastings castle by the service of castle-guard. See 
D. B., i., pp. 21 and 206. 

^ The total number would be eighty-six if Burton and Aldreth were 
included. Burton castle is mentioned in Domesday, but there is no further 
trace of its existence. The castle of Alrehede or Aldreth in the island of 
Ely is stated by the Liber Eliensis to have been built by the Conqueror, but 
no remains of any kind appear to exist now. Both these castles are there- 
fore omitted from the list. 



96 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

towns. Of these, less than a third are placed inside 
the Roman walls or the Saxon or Danish earthworks 
of the towns, while at least two-thirds are wholly or 
partly outside these enclosures.^ This circumstance is 
important, because the position outside the town indicates 
the mistrust of an invader, not the confidence of a 
native prince. In the only two cases where we know 
anything of the position of the residence of the Saxon 
kings we find it in the middle of the city.^ Even when 
the castle is inside the town walls it is almost invariably 
close to the walls, so that an escape into the country 
might always be possible.^ 

Of the towns or manors in which these castles were 
situated, Domesday Book gives us the value in King 
Edward's and King William's time in sixty-two instances. 
In forty-five cases the value has risen ; in twelve it has 
fallen ; in five it is stationary. Evidently something has 
caused a great increase of prosperity in these cases, and 
it can hardly be anything else than the impetus given to 
trade through the security afforded by a Norman castle. 

Our list shows that Mr Clark's confident statement, 
that the moated mounds were the centres of large and 
important estates in Saxon times, was a dream. Out 
of forty-one mottes in country districts, thirty-six are 
found in places which were quite insignificant in King 
Edward's day, and only five can be said to occupy the 
centres of important Saxon manors.^ 

^ Exact numbers cannot be given, because in some cases the bounds of 
the ancient borough are doubtful, as at Quatford. 

2 At Winchester and Exeter. For Winchester, see Milner, History of 
Winchester^ ii., 194 ; for Exeter, Shorrt's Sylva Antigua Iscana^ p. 7. 

^ Colchester is the only exception to this rule, as the castle there is in the 
middle of the town ; but even this is only an apparent exception, as the 
second bailey extended to the town wall on the north, and had been royal 
demesne land even before the Conquest. See Round's Colchester Castle^ ch. vii. 

* These five are Berkeley, Berkhampstead, Bourn, Pontefract, Rayleigh. 



ABERGAVENNY 97 

In the table in the Appendix, the area occupied by 
the original baileys of the castles in this list has 
been measured accurately by a planimeter, from the 
25-in. Ordnance maps, in all cases in which that was 
possible.^ This table proves that the early Norman 
castles were very small in area, suitable only for the 
personal defence of a chieftain who had only a small 
force at his disposal, and absolutely unsuited for a 
people in the tribal state of development, like the 
ancient Britons, or for the scheme of national defence 
inaugurated by Alfred and Edward. We may remark 
here that In not a single case is any masonry which 
is certainly early Norman to be found on one of these 
mottes ; where the date can be ascertained, the stone- 
work Is invariably later than the nth century. 

Abergavenny (Fig. 8). — This castle, being in 
Monmouthshire, must be included in our list. The 
earliest notice of it is a document stating that Hamelln 
de Ballon gave the church and chapel of the castle of 
Abergavenny, and the land for making a bourg, and an 
oven of their own, to the Abbey of St Vincent at 
Le Mans.^ 

The castle occupies a pointed spur at the S. end 
of the town, whose walls converge so as to include the 
castle as part of the defence. The motte has been 
much altered during recent years, and is crowned by 
a modern building ; but a plan in Coxes Toitr in 
Monmouthshire, 1800, shows It in its original round 
form. The bailey is roughly of a pentagonal shape, 
covering i acre, and is defended by a curtain wall with 
mural towers and a gatehouse. The ditch on the W. 

* I am indebted for these measurements to Mr D. H. Montgomerie. 
^ Notification in Round's Calendar of Docutnents preserved in France^ 
p. 367. Mr Round dates the Notification 1087-1 100. 

G 



98 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

and N. is much filled in and obscured by the 
encroachment of the town. On the E. the ground 
descends in a steep scarp, which merges into those of 
the headland on which the motte is placed.^ 

Arundel (Fig. 8). — ''The castrum of Arundel," 
says Domesday Book, "paid 405. in King Edward's 
time from a certain mill, and 20^". from three boardlands 
(or feorm-lands), and 2s. from one pasture. Now, 
between the town feorm and the water-gate and the 
ships' dues, it pays 12/." ^ Castrum in Domesday nearly 
always means a castle ; yet the description here given 
is certainly that of a town and not of a castle. 
We must therefore regard it as an instance of the 
fluctuating meaning which both castrum and castellum 
had in the nth century.^ Arundel is one of the towns 
mentioned in the ** Burghal Hidage." * But even accept- 
ing that the description in Domesday refers to the town, 
we can have very little doubt that the original earthen 
castle was reared by Roger de Montgomeri, to whom 
William I. gave the Rapes of Arundel and Chichester, 
and whom he afterwards made Earl of Shrewsbury.^ 

1 Description furnished by Mr D. H. Montgomerie, F.S.A. 

2 " Castrum Harundel T. R. E. reddebat de quodam molino 40 solidos, 
et de 3 conviviis 20 solidos, et de uno pasticio 20 solidos. Modo inter 
burgum et portum aquas et consuetudinem navium reddit 12 libras, et tamen 
valet 13. De his habet S. Nicolaus 24 solidos. Ibi unapiscaria de 5 solidos " 
et unum molinum reddens 10 modia frumenti, et 10 modia grossas annonae. 
Insuper 4 modia. Hoc appreciatum est 12 libras. Robertus filius Tetbaldi , 
habet 2 hagas de 2 solidis, et de hominibus extraniis habet suum 
theloneum." Several other haga and burgenses are then enumerated. 
(D. B., i., 23a, I.) 

2 See Mr Round's remarks on the words in his Geoffrey de Mandeville^ 
Appendix O. The above was written before the appearance of Mr Round's 
paper on " The Castles of the Conquest " {Archcsologia, Iviii.), in which he 
rejects the idea that castrum Harundel means the castle. 

^ See ante^ p. 28. 

5 Florence of Worcester mentions the castle of Arundel as belonging to 
Roger de Montgomeri in 1088. 







[To face p. 98. 



ARUNDEL 99 

Roger had contributed sixty ships to William's fleet, 
and both he and his sons were highly favoured and 
trusted by William, until the sons forfeited that 
confidence. We shall see afterwards that their names 
are connected with several important castles of the 
early Norman settlement. We shall see also that the 
Rapes into which Sussex was divided — Chichester, 
Arundel, Bramber, Lewes, Pevensey, and Hastings — 
were all furnished with Norman castles, each with the 
characteristic motte, except Pevensey, which had a 
stone keep. Each of these castles, at the time of the 
Survey, defended a port by which direct access could 
be had to Normandy. It was to protect his base 
that William fortified these important estuaries, and 
committed them to the keeping of some of the most 
prominent of the Norman leaders. 

The castle stands on the end of a high and narrow 
ridge of the South Downs, above the town of Arundel. 
It consists of an oblong ward, covering 4|- acres, in the 
middle of which, but on the line of the west wall, is a 
large motte, about 70 feet high, surrounded by its own 
ditch. The lower and perhaps original bailey is only 
2 acres in extent. Round the top of the motte is a 
slightly oval wall, of the kind called by Mr Clark a 
shell keep. We have elsewhere expressed our doubts of 
the correctness of this term.^ In all the more important 
castles we find that the keep on top of the motte has a 
small ward attached to it, and Arundel is no exception 
to this rule ; it has the remains of a tower, as well as 
the wall round the motte. The tower is a small one, 
but it is large enough for the king's chamber in times 
which were not extravagant in domestic architecture. 
It is probable that this tower, and the stone wall round 

^ See Appendix R. 



100 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

the motte are the work of Henry IL, as he spent nearly 
340/. on this castle between the years 11 70 and 1187. 
His work consisted chiefly of a wall, a king's chamber, 
a chapel, and a tower.-^ The wall of the motte cor- 
responds in style to the work of the middle of his reign ; 
it is built of flints, but cased with Caen stone brought 
from Normandy, and has Norman buttresses. The 
original Norman doorway on the south side (now walled 
up) has the chevron moulding, which shows that it is 
not earlier than the 12th century. The tower, which we 
may assume to be the tower of Henry H.'s records, has 
a round arched entrance, and contains a chapel and a 
chamber (now ruined) besides a well chamber. 

There is earlier Norman work still remaining in the 
bailey, namely, the fine gateway, which though of plain 
and severe Norman, is larger and loftier than the early 
work of that style, and of superior masonry.^ The one 
Pipe Roll of Henry I. which we possess shows that he 
spent "jZl. 6s. 2d. on the castle in 11 30, and possibly l| 
this refers to this gatehouse.^ We know that Henry 
was a great builder, but so was the former owner of this 
castle, Robert Belesme, son of Roger de Montgomeri. 

The value of the town of Arundel had greatly 
increased since the Conquest, at the time of the 
Domesday Survey.* 

Bamborough, Northumberland. — We first hear of 

1 The expenses entered in the Pipe Rolls (1170-1187) are for the works 
of the castle, the chamber and wall of the castle, the houses of the castle (an 
expression which generally refers to the keep), and for flooring the tower 
(turris) and making a garden. Turris is the usual word for a keep, and is 
never applied to a mere mural tower. 

2 This gateway is masked by a work of the 13th century, which serves as 
a sort of barbican. 

3 In operibus castelli de Arundel 22/. ys. Zd. Et debet 55/. \Zs, 6d. 
Pipe Roll, 31, Henry I., p. 42. 

^ D. B., i., 23a, I. 




•1 



BAMBOROUGH 101 

this castle In the reign of Rufus, when It was defended 
against the king by Robert Mowbray, the rebel Earl of 
Northumberland ; but there can be little doubt that the 
earliest castle on this natural bastion was built In the 
Conqueror's reign. In the 13th century certain lands 
were held by the tenure of supplying wood to the castle 
of Bamborough, and It was declared that this obligation 
had existed ever since the time of William I.^ William 
certainly found no castle there, for Bamborough had 
fallen into utter ruin and desolation by the middle of 
the nth century.^ William's hold on Northumberland 
was too precarious to give opportunity for so long and 
costly a work as the building of a stone keep. It is 
more probable that a strong wooden castle was the 
fortress of the governors of Northumberland under the 
first Norman kings, and that the present stone keep was 
built in Henry II.'s reign. ^ There Is no motte at 
Bamborough, nor was one needed on a site which Is 
itself a natural motte, more precipitous and defensible 
than any artificial hlll.^ As the Domesday Survey does 
not extend to Northumberland, we have no statement 
of the value of Bamborough. The area of the castle Is 
4f acres. 

* Testa de Neville i., iii., 236, cited by C. Bates, in a very valuable 
paper on Bamborough Castle, in ArchcEologia ^liana^ vol. xiv., "Border 
Holds." Mr Bates gives other evidence to the same effect. The early 
existence of the castle is also proved by the fact that Gospatric, whom 
William had made Earl of Northumberland, after his raid on Cumberland 
in 1070, brought his booty to the Jirmissima?n mtcnitionein of Bamborough. 
Symeon of Durham, 1070. 

2 Vita S. Oswaldi, ch. xlviii., in Rolls edition of Symeon. 

^ This was the opinion of the late Mr Cadwalader Bates, who thought 
that the smallness of the sums entered for Bamborough in Henry II.'s 
reign might be accounted for by the labour and materials having been 
furnished by the crown tenants. Border Stro?igholds, p. 236. 

^ Bamborough rock has every appearance of having been once an island. 
As late as 1547 the tide came right up to the rock on the east side ; the sea 
is now separated from the castle by extensive sandhills. 



102 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Barnstaple, Devon (Fig. 9). — This castle is not 
mentioned in Domesday, but the town belonged to 
Judhael, one of the followers of the Conqueror, whose 
name suggests a Breton origin. William gave him 
large estates in Devon and Cornwall. A charter of 
Judhael's to the priory which he founded at Barnstaple 
makes mention of the castle.^ Barnstaple, at the head 
of the estuary of the Taw, was a borough at Domesday, 
and the castle was placed Inside the town walls.^ The 
motte remains in good condition ; the winding walks 
which now lead to the top are certainly no part of the 
original plan, but are generally found in cases where the 
motte has been Incorporated in a garden. There was 
formerly a stone keep, of which no vestige remains.^ 
The castle seems to have formed the apex of a town 
of roughly triangular shape. The bailey can just be 
traced, and must have covered i|- acres. 

The former value of Barnstaple is not given In the 
Survey, so we cannot tell whether It had risen or not. 

Belvoir, Leicester. — This castle was founded by 
the Norman Robert de Todeni, who died in 1088.^ It 
stands on a natural hill, so steep and isolated that it 
might be called a natural motte. The first castle was 
destroyed by King John, and the modernising of the 
site has entirely destroyed any earthworks which 
may have existed on the hill. There appears to have 

1 M. A., v., 197. 

- Domesday mentions the destruction of twenty-three houses at Barn- 
staple, which may have been due partly or wholly to the building of the 
castle. I., 100. 

^ From a lecture by Mr J. R. Chanter. 

* The Fundatio of Belvoir priory says that Robert founded the church of 
St Mary, juxta castellum suum^ M. A., iii., 288. As Robert's coffin was 
actually found in the Priory in 1726, with an inscription calling him Robert 
de Todnei /e Ficndeiir^ the statement is probably more trustworthy than 
documents of this class generally are. 




Barnstaple, Devon. 



fiocd^ 








Xf ^oihy 4- 




^^^>^ Feet. 

Bisuop's Stortford, Herts. 



Berkhampstead, Herts. 



Fig. g. 



VToJace'p. 102. 



I 



BERKELEY 103 

been a shell wall, from the descriptions given by 
Nicholls and Leland.^ It was situated in the manor of 
Bottesdene, a manor of no great importance, but which 
had risen in value at the date of the Survey.^ 

Berkeley, or Ness. — The identity of Berkeley Castle 
with the Ness castle of Domesday may be regarded as 
certain. All that the Survey says about it is : " In 
Ness there are five hides belonging to Berkeley, which 
Earl William put out to make a little castle."^ Earl 
William is William FitzOsbern, the trusty friend and 
counsellor of the Conqueror, who had made him Earl 
of Herefordshire. He had also authority over the north 
and west of England during William's first absence in 
Normandy, and part of the commission he received from 
William was to build castles where they were needed.^ 
Berkeley was a royal manor with a large number of 
berewlcks, and the probable meaning of the passage In 
Domesday is that Earl William removed the geldability 
of the five hides occupying the peninsula or ness which 
stretches from Berkeley to the Severn, bounded on the 
south by the Little Avon, and appropriated these lands 
to the upkeep of a small castle. This castle can hardly 
have been placed anywhere but at Berkeley, for there is 
no trace of any other castle in the district.^ Earl 
Godwin had sometimes resided at Berkeley, but prob- 
ably his residence there was the monastery which by 

^ Nicholls, History of Leicester^ i., no. 

2 D. B., i., 233b. 

" " In Ness sunt 5 hidoe pertinentes ad Berchelai, quas comes Willielmus 
misit extra ad faciendum unum castellulum." D. B., i., 163a, 2. 

* " Castella per loca firmari praecepit." Flor. Wig.^ 1067. See Freeman, 
N. C, iv., 72. Domesday tells us that FitzOsbern built Ness, Clifford, 
Chepstow, and Wigmore, and rebuilt Evvias. 

^ Robert Fitzhardinge, in his charter to St Austin's Abbey at Bristol, 
says that King Henry [II.] gave him the manor of Berchall, and all 
Bercheleiernesse. Mon. Ang.^ vi., 365. 



104 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

evil means had come into his hands ; ^ for we never hear 
of any castle in connection with Godwin. But a 
Norman motte exists at Berkeley, though buried in the 
stone shell built by Henry IL Mr Clark remarks : ** If 
the masonry of Berkeley Castle were removed, its 
remains would show a mound of earth, and attached to 
three sides of it a platform, the whole encircled with a 
ditch or scarp." ^ The motte raised by Earl William 
has, in fact, been revetted with a stone shell of the 12th 
century, whose bold chevron ornament over the entrance 
gives evidence of its epoch. What is still more remark- 
able is that documentary evidence exists to fix the date 
of this transformation. A charter of Henry H. is 
preserved at Berkeley Castle, in which he grants the 
manor to Robert Fitzhardinge, pledging himself at the 
same time to fortify a castle there, according to Robert's 
wish.^ Robert's wish probably was to possess a stone 
keep, like those which had been rising in so many 
places during the 12th century. But there had been a 
Norman lord at Berkeley before Fitzhardinge, Roger 
de Berkeley, whose representatives only lost the manor 
through having taken sides with Stephen In the civil 
war.* This Roger no doubt occupied the wooden castle 
on the motte built by William FitzOsbern. Henry H.'s 
shell was probably the first masonry connected with 

^ It is not necessary to discuss the authenticity of the story preserved by 
Walter Map ; it is enough that Gytha, the wife of Godwin, held in horror 
the means by which her husband got possession of Berkeley Nunnery. 
D. B., i., 164. 

2 MedicBval Military Architecture^ i., 236. 

^ The gift of the manor was made before Henry became king, and was 
confirmed by charter on the death of Stephen in 11 54. Fitzhardinge 
was an Englishman, son of an alderman of Bristol, who had greatly 
helped Henry in his wars against Stephen. See Fosbroke's History of 
Gloucester. 

■* He held Berkeley under the crown at the time of the Survey. 
D. B., i., 163a. 



BERKELEY 105 

the castle. This remarkable keep is nearly circular, 
and has three round turrets and one oblone. As the 
latter, Thorpe's Tower, was rebuilt in Edward III.'s 
reign, it probably took the place of a round tower. The 
keep is built of rubble, and its Norman buttresses (it 
has several later ones) project about a foot. The cross 
loopholes in the walls are undoubtedly insertions of the 
time of Edward III. The buildings in the bailey are 
chiefly of the time of Edward III., but the bailey walls 
have some Norman buttresses, and are probably of the 
same date as the keep.^ This bailey is nearly square, 
and the motte, which is in one corner, encroaches upon 
about a quarter of it. The small size of the area 
which it encloses, not much more than half an 
acre, corresponds to the statement of Domesday 
Book that it was "a little castle." There is no trace 
of the usual ditch surrounding the motte, and the 
smallness of the bailey makes it unlikely that there 
ever was one. A second bailey has been added 
to the first, ^ and the w^hole is surrounded on three 
sides by a moat, the fourth side having formerly had 
a steep descent into swamps, which formed sufficient 
protection.^ 

There is no statement in the Survey of the value of 
Ness, but the whole manor of Berkeley had risen since 
the Conquest.^ 

Berkhampstead, Herts (Fig. 9). — Mr D. H. 
Montgomerie rightly calls this a magnificent example of 

^ From information received from Mr Duncan Montgomerie. 

- Fosbroke's History of Gloucester attributes this bailey to Maurice, son 
of Robert Fitzhardinge. One of the most interesting features in this 
highly interesting castle is the wooden pentice leading from the main stair- 
way of the keep to the chamber called Edward II. 's. Though a late 
addition, it is a good instance of the way in which masonry was eked out by 
timber in mediaeval times. 

3 Clark, M. M. A., i., 229. ^ D. B., i., 163. 



106 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

an earthwork fortress/ It is first mentioned in a 
charter of Richard L, which recapitulates the original 
charter of William, son of Robert, Count of Mortain, in 
which he gives the chapel of this castle to the Abbey of 
Grestein in Normandy.^ We may, therefore, with all 
probability look upon this as one of the castles built by 
the Conqueror's half-brother. And this will account for 
the exceptional strength of the work, which comprises a 
motte 40 feet high, ditched round (formerly), and a 
bailey of 2f acres, surrounded not only with the usual 
ditch and banks, but with a second ditch outside the 
counterscarp bank, which encircles both motte and 
bailey. At two important points in its line, this counter- 
scarp bank is enlarged into mounds which have evidently 
once carried wooden towers ; ^ if this arrangement 
belonged to the original plan, as it most probably did, 
it confirms a remark which we have made elsewhere 
as to the early use of wooden mural towers. Works 
in masonry were added to the motte and the bailey 
banks in the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries. There 
are traces of a semicircular earthwork outside the 
second ditch on the west, which appears to have 
formed a barbican. But the most exceptional thing 
about this castle is the series of earthen platforms .j 
on the north and east, connected by a bank, and 
closely investing the external ditch, which were for- 
merly supposed to form part of the castle works. Mr 
W. St John Hope has suggested the far more plausible 
theory that they were the siege platforms erected 
by Louis, the Dauphin of France, in 1216. We are 

^ Victoria County History of Herts ^ from which the description of these 
earthworks is entirely taken. 

2 Mon. Ang.^ vii., 1090. 

^ They were excavated by Mr Montgomerie in 1905, and no trace of 
masonry was found. 



BISHOPS STORTFORD 107 

told that his engines kept up a most destructive fire 
of stones.^ 

The value of the manor of Berkhampstead had con- 
siderably decreased, even since the Count of Mortain 
received It.^ 

Bishop's Stortford, Herts (Fig. 9). — Waytemore 
Castle Is the name given to the large oval motte at this 
place, which Is evidently the site of the castle of 
" Estorteford," given by William the Conqueror to 
Maurice, Bishop of London.^ The manor of Stortford 
had been bought from King William by Maurice's 
predecessor, William, who had been one of the Norman 
favourites of Edward the Confessor/ He may have 
built this castle, but he cannot have built it till after the 
Conquest, as the land did not belong to his see till then. 

" The castle consists of a large oval motte, 250 x 200 
feet at Its base, rising 40 feet above the marshes of the 
river Stort, and crowned by a keep with walls of flint 
rubble, 12 feet thick. On the S. of the motte there 
are traces of a pentagonal bailey, covering 2^ acres. It 
Is enclosed on four sides by the narrow streams which 
intersect the marshes. The dry ditch on the fifth side, 
facing the motte, is discernible. The castle abuts on 
I the road called The Causeway, which crosses the valley ; 
it is in a good position to command both road and 
river." ^ The value of the manor had gone down at 
Domesday.^ 

Bourn, Lincolnshire (Fig. 10). — The manor of Bourn 

I ^ Roger of Wendover, 12 16. - D. B., i., 163. 

! ^ The charter, which is in both Anglo-Saxon and Latin, is given in 

I Dugdale's History of St Paters, 304. 

* See Freeman, ii., 356 ; and D. B., i., 134a. 

^ From report by Mr D. H. Montgomerie. 

^ Waytemore has sometimes been identified with the puzzling Wigginga- 
mere, but in defiance of phonology. 



I 



108 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

or Brune appears to have been much split up amongst 
various owners at the time of Domesday. A Breton 
named Oger held the demesne.^ A charter of Picot, 
the Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, a person often mentioned 
in Domesday Book, gives the church of Brune and the 
chapel of the castle to the priory which he had founded 
near the castle of Cambridge — afterwards removed to 
Barnwell.^ Bourn was the centre of a large soke in 
Anglo-Saxon times. Leland mentions the '' Crete 
Diches, and the Dungeon Hill of the ancient Castel,"^ 
but very little of the remains is now visible, and the 
motte has been almost removed. 

**The castle lies in flat ground, well watered by 
springs and streams. The motte was placed at the 
southern apex of a roughly oval bailey, from which it 
was separated by its own wet ditch, access being 
obtained through a gatehouse which stood on the narrow 
neck by which this innermost enclosure, at its N.W. 
end, joined the principal bailey, which, in its turn, 
was embraced on all sides but the S. by a second 
and concentric bailey, also defended by a wet ditch, 
which broadens out at the S.W. corner into St 
Peter's Pool. There is another enclosure beyond this 
which may be of later date. The inner bailey covers 
3 acres. Very little is now left of the motte, but a plan 
made in 1861 showed it to be fairly perfect,^ and some 
slight remains of the gatehouse were excavated in that 
year. The castle is on the line of the Roman road from 
Peterborough to Sleaford, and close to the Roman Car- 
Dyke."' 

The value of Bourn had risen at Domesday. 

1 D. B., i., 351b. 2 J/; ^^^ yi^ 85^ 3 y//„,^ i^ 27. 

* Associated Archceological Societies^ VI., ix, 
** Report by Mr D. H. Montgomerie. 




Ci. /^ema/n3 of/ Motte. 

BouRX, Lixcs. 




Bramber, Sussex. 



Fig. io. 



[To face p. lOS. 



BRAMBER 109 

Bramber, Sussex (Fig. lo). — Of the manor of 
Washington, in which Bramber is situated, the 
Survey says that it formerly paid geld for fifty-nine 
hides ; and in one of these hides sits the castle of 
Bramber.^ It must not be imagined that the castle 
occupied a whole hide, which according to the latest 
computations would average about 120 acres. It is 
evident that there had been some special arrangement 
between the King and William de Braose, the Norman 
tenant-in-chief, by which the whole geld of the manor 
had been remitted. The Domesday scribe waxes almost 
pathetic over the loss to the fisc of this valuable prey. 
** It used to be ad fir mam for 100/," he says. The 
manor of Washington belonged to Gurth, the brother of 
Harold, before the Conquest, but it is clear that 
Bramber was not the caput of the manor in Saxon times ; 
nor was Washington the centre of a large soke. 
Bramber Castle was constructed to defend the estuary 
of the river, now known as the Adur, one of the water- 
ways to Normandy already alluded to. 

The castle occupies a natural hill which forms on the 
top a pear-shaped area of 3 acres. Towards the middle 
rises an artificial motte about 30 feet high ; there is no 
sign of a special ditch around it, except that the ground 
sinks slightly at its base. The bailey is surrounded by 
a very neatly built wall of pebbles and flints, laid 
herring-bone-wise in places, which does not stand on 
an earthen bank. The absence of this bank makes it 
likely, though of course not certain, that this wall was 
^ the original work of De Braose ; the stones of which it 
is composed would be almost as easily obtained as the 

^ Ipse Willielmus tenet Wasingetune. Guerd Comes tenuit T. R. E. 
Tunc se defendebat pro 59 hidis. Modo non dat geldum. In una ex his 
hidis sedet castellum Brembre. D. B., i., 28a, i. 



no CASTLES OF THE NORMAxXS IN ENGLAND 

earth for a bank. On the Hne of the wall, just east of 
the entrance, stands a tall fragment of an early Norman 
tower. The workmanship of this tower, which Is also of 
flints laid herrlng-bone-wlse, with quoins of ashlar, so 
strongly resembles that of the neighbouring church that 
It seems obvious that both were built at about the same 
tlme.^ The church Is dedicated to St Nicholas, who was 
worshipped In Normandy as early as 1067;^ it was 
probably the Normans who introduced his worship into 
England. Both church and tower are undoubtedly early 
Norman. The motte shows no sign of masonry. 

The value of the manor of Washington had slightly 
risen since the Conquest. 

Bristol. — Robert, Earl of Gloucester, the Empress 
Matilda's half-brother and great champion, is always 
credited with the building of Bristol Castle ; but this is 
one of the many instances in which the man who first 
rebuilds a castle in stone receives the credit of being the 
original founder.^ For it is certain that there was a 
castle at Bristol long before the days of Earl Robert, as 
the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions it in 1088, when it 
was held by Geoffrey, Bishop of Coutances, and Robert 
Curthose against William IL ; and Symeon of Durham, 
In the same year, speaks of It as a " castrum fortis- 
simum." Bishop Geoffrey held Bristol at the date of 



^ We often find that the architecture of the nearest church throws light 
on the date of the castle. A Norman seldom built or restored his castle 
without doing something for the church at the same time. 

- See Ordericus, ii., 178. 

^ The Chronica de Fundatoribiis of Tewkesbury Abbey seems to be the 
origin of the tradition that Earl Robert was the builder of Bristol Castle. 
There can be no doubt that his work was in stone, as the same authority 
states that he gave every tenth stone to the Chapel of Our Lady in St James' 
Priory. M. A., ii., 120. According to Leland, the keep was built of Caen 
stone. I/m.f vii., 90. Robert of Gloucester calls it the flower of all the 
towers in England. 



■I 



BRISTOL 111 

the Domesday Survey, and he probably built the castle 
by William's orders.^ It was completely destroyed in 
1655 (only a few 13th century arches in a private 
house now remain), and no trustworthy plan has been 
preserved, but there is clear evidence that it was a 
motte-and-bailey castle of the usual Norman type.^ In 
Stephen's reign it was described as standing on a very 
great cigger.^ An agger does not necessarily mean a 
motte, but it Is often used for one, and there Is other 
evidence which shows that this Is its meaning here. A 
Perambulation of the bounds of Bristol In 1373 shows 
that the south-western part of the castle ditch, which 
enclosed the site of the keep, was called le Mot-dich ; 
which should certainly be translated the ditch of the 
motte, and not, as Seyer translates it, the moat ditch/ 
Finally, the description of the castle In 1642 by Major 
Wood, says : " The castle stood upon a lofty steep mount, 
that was not minable, as Lieutenant Clifton informed 
me, for he said the mount whereon the castle stood was 
of an earthy substance for a certain depth, but below 
that a firm strong rock, and that he had searched 
purposely with an auger and found It so In all parts." ^ 
He goes on to describe the wall of the bailey as resting 
on an earthen rampart, testifying to the wooden 
stockade of the first castle. The great tower of Earl 
Robert appears to have been placed on the motte, which 
must have been of considerable size, as it held not only 



^ We have no historical account of the Norman conquest of Bristol, and 
the city is only mentioned in the most cursory manner in D. B. 

- Seyer {Me7?ioirs of Bristol^ i.) was convinced that the plan published 
by Barrett, and attributed to the monk Rowiie, was a forgery ; his own 
plan, as he candidly admits, was largely drawn from imagination. 

^ Castellum plurimo aggere exaltatum. Gesta Stephanie 37. 

^ Seyer, i., 391, and ii., 82. 

^ Quoted by Seyer, ii., 301, from Pryn?ie^s Catal.^ p. 11. 



112 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

the keep, but a courtyard, a chapel, and the constable's 
house, besides several towers on its walls. The whole 
area of the castle was very nearly 4 acres. ^ 

Bristol Castle was no doubt originally a royal castle, 
though Earl Robert of Gloucester held it in right of his 
wife, who had inherited it from her father, Robert Fitz 
Hamon ; but the crown did not abdicate its claim upon 
it, and after the troubles of 11 74, Henry IL caused the 
son of Earl Robert to surrender the keep into his 
hands. ^ 

Seyer very pertinently remarks that Bristol Castle 
'' was erected with a design hostile to the town ; for it 
occupies the peninsula between two rivers, along which 
was the direct and original communication between the 
town and the main part of Gloucestershire." ^ It was 
outside the city, and was not under its jurisdiction till 
James I. granted this authority by charter.^ The value 
T. R. E. is not given in Domesday Book. 

Buckingham. — The only mention of this castle as 
existing in the nth century is in the Gesta Herewardi,^ 
an undated work which is certainly in great part a 
romance, but as it is written by some one who evidently 
had local knowledge, we may probably trust him for the 
existence of Buckingham Castle at that date ; especially 
as Buckingham was a county town, and one of the 
boroughs of the Burghal Hidage, the very place which 
we should expect to find occupied by a Norman castle. 
This writer speaks of the castle as belonging to Ivo de 

1 Calculated from the measurements given by William of Worcester. 
Itin.^ p. 260. William probably alludes to the motte when he speaks 
of the "mayng round" of the castle. 

^ Benedict of Peterborough^ i., 92. 

3 Hist, of Bristol^ i., 373. * Ibid.^ vol. ii. 

^ De Gestis Herewardi Saxo7iis^ Wright's edition. See Freeman, N. C, 
iv., 804. 



BUCKINGHAM— CAERLEON 113 

Taillebois ; this is not inconsistent with the fact shown 
by Domesday Book, that the borough belonged to the 
king. That it was a motte-and-bailey castle is indicated 
by Speed's map of Buckingham in 1611 ; he speaks of 
the ''high hill," though he only indicates it slightly in 
his plan, with a shield-shaped bailey. Brayley states 
that the present church is " proudly exalted on the 
summit of an artificial mount, anciently occupied by a 
castle." ^ 

The castle hill occupies a strong position on the 
neck of land made by a bend of the river ; it extends 
nearly half-way across it, and commands both town and 
river. The original earthworks of the castle were 
destroyed and levelled for the erection of a church in 
1777, but the large oval hill remains, having a flat 
summit about 2 acres in extent, and about 30 feet above 
the town below. Its sides descend in steep scarps 
behind the houses on all sides but the north - east. 
There can be no doubt that the motte has been 
lowered, and thus enlarged, in order to build the church. 
The foundations of a stone castle were found in digging 
a cellar on the slope of the motte.'^ 

The value of Buckingham had considerably risen at 
the date of Domesday.^ 

Caerleon, Monmouthshire (Fig. 11). • — Domesday 
Book speaks of the castellaria of Caerleon.^ A caste l- 
iaHa appears to have meant a district in which the land 



1 Beauties of England and IVales, Buckingham, p. 282. 

2 Camden's Britannia, i., 315. '^ D. B., i., 143. 
^ "Willielmus de Scohies tenet 8 carucatas terrae in castellaria de 

arliun, et Turstinus tenet de eo. Ibi habet in dominio unam carucam, 
t tres Walenses lege Walensi viventes, cum 3 carucis, et 2 bordarios cum 
limidio carucae, et reddunt 4 sextares mellis. Ibi 2 servi et una ancilla. 
^aec terra wasta erat T. R. E., et quando Willelmus recepit. Modo valet 
osolidos." D. B., i, 185b, i. 

H 



I 



114 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

was held by the service of castle-guard in a neigh- 
bouring castle. The Survey goes on to say that this 
land was waste in the time of King Edward, and when 
William de Scohies, the Domesday tenant, received it ; 
now It is worth 40s. Wasta, Mr Round has remarked, 
is one of the pitfalls of the Survey. Perhaps we shall 
not be far wrong If we say that In a general way it 
means that there was nobody there to pay geld. When 
this occurs in a town it may point to the devastations 
committed at the Conquest ; but when It occurs in the 
country, and when it Is accompanied by so clear a state- 
ment that the land which was wasta in King Edward's 
time and at the Conquest is now producing revenue, the 
inference would seem to be clear that the castle of 
Caerleon was built on uninhabited land. Caerleon, how- 
ever, had been a great city In Roman times, and had 
kept up its importance at least till the days of Edgar, 
when It Is twice mentioned In Welsh history.^ It must 
therefore have gone downhill very rapidly. GIraldus 
mentions among the ruins of Roman greatness which 
were to be seen in his day, a gigantic tower, and this Is 
commonly supposed to have belonged to the castle.^ It 
certainly did not, for GIraldus Is clearly speaking of a 
Roman tower, and the motte of the Norman castle not 
only has no signs of masonry, but has been thrown up 
over the ruins of a Roman villa which had been burnt.' 
The motte and other remains of the castle are outside 
the Roman castrum, between it and the river. The 



^ The Gwentian Chronicle^ Cambrian Arch^ological Association, a.d. 
962, 967. It is not absolutely impossible that these passages refer to 
Chester. Caerleon appears to have been seized by the Welsh very soon 
after the death of William I. 

2 Itin, Camb., p. 55. 

3 Loftus Brock, in Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xlix. J. E. Lee, in Arch. 
Camb.., iv., 73. 




Caerleon, Monmouth, 




Carisbkooke. 



Fig. II. 



[To/accp. 114. 



CAMBRIDGE 115 

bailey is roughly pentagonal, and covers 4|- acres. 
The manor of Caerleon was waste T. R. E. and had 
risen to 40s. T. R. W.^ 

Cambridge. — Ordericus tells us that William built 
this castle on his return from his first visit to Yorkshire 
in 1068,^ and Domesday Book states that twenty-seven 
houses were destroyed to make room for the castle.^ 
There can hardly be a clearer statement that the castle 
was entirely new. We have already seen that there is 
some probability that Cambridge was first fortified by 
the Danes ; for though it has been assumed to be a 
Roman castrum, no Roman remains have ever been 
found there, and the names which suggest Roman 
occupation, Chesterton and Grantchester, are at some 
distance from Cambridge. The castle, according to Mr 
St John Hope's plan,^ was placed inside this enclosure, 
and the destruction of the houses to make room for it is 
thus explained. The motte and a portion of the bank of 
the bailey are all that now remain of the castle, but the 
valuable ancient maps republished by Mr Hope show 
that the motte had its own ditch, and that the bailey was 
rectangular. There was formerly a round tower on the 
motte, which, if it had the cross-loop-holes and machi- 
colations represented in the print published in 1575, was 
certainly not of Norman date. The area of the bailey 
was 4^ acres. ^ The castle was a royal one, and like 

1 D. B., i., 185b. 

2 [Rex] "in reversione sua Lincolniae, Huntendonae et Grontebrugce 
castra locavit." Ord. Vz^.y -p. 189. 

3 D. B., i., 189. 

* A similar plan was made independently by the late Professor Babington. 
Some traces of the original earthwork of the city are still to be seen. See 
Mr Hope's paper on T/ie Norman Origin of Cambridge Castle^ Cambridge 
Antiquarian Soc, vol. xi. ; and Babington's Ancient Cambridgeshire ^ in the 
same society's Octavo Publications^ No. iii., 1853. 

^ W. H. St John Hope, as above, p. 342. 



116 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

many royal castles, went early to ruin. Henry IV. gave 
the materials of the hall to the master and wardens of 
King's Hall for building their chapel. 

The value of Cambridge T. R. W. is not given in 
Domesday Book. 

Canterbury. — Domesday Book only mentions this 
castle incidentally in connection with an exchange of 
land : '' The archbishop has seven houses and the 
abbot of St Augustine fourteen for the exchange of 
the castle."^ It has been too hastily assumed 
that it was a pre-Conquest castle which was thus 
exchanged for twenty - one houses ; but anyone who 
knows the kind of relations which existed chronically 
between the archbishop of Canterbury and the abbot 
of St Augustine's will perceive that it was an im- 
possibility that these two potentates should have held 
a castle in common. It was the land for the castle, 
not the castle itself, which the king got from these 
ecclesiastics. This is rendered clear by a passage in 
the Chartulary of St Augustine's, which tells us that 
the king, who was mesne lord of the city of Canter- 
bury, had lost the rent of thirty-two houses through 
the exchange of the castle : seven having gone to the 
archbishop, fourteen to the abbot, and eleven having 
been destroyed in making the ditch of the castle.^ 
There can scarcely be any doubt that the hillock now 
known by the ridiculous name of Dane John is the motte 
of this original castle of the Conqueror. Its proper 
name, the Dungeon Hill, which it bore till the i6th and 

^ "Archiepiscopus habet ex eis [burgensibus] 7 et abbas S. Augustini 14 
pro excambio castelli." D. B., i. a, 2. 

2 " Et undecim sunt perditi infra fossatum castelli " ; cited by Larking, 
Domesday of Kent^ App. xxiv. Domesday says, " sunt vastatcE xi. in fossa 
civiiatis." There can be no doubt that the Chartulary gives the correct 
account. 



CANTERBURY 117 

even the i8th century,^ shows what its origin was ; it was 
the hill on which stood the dungeon or donjon of a 
Norman castle.^ The name Dane John is not so much a 
corruption as a deliberate perversion introduced by the 
antiquary Somner about 1640, under the idea that the 
Danes threw up the hill— an idea for which there is not 
the sliofhtest historical evidence.^ We have seen that 
there is no reason to think that the Danes ever 
constructed fortifications of this kind, and their connec- 
tion with this earthwork is due to one of those guesses, 
too common in English archaeology, which have no 
scientific basis whatever. 

Somner makes the important statement that this 
earthwork was originally outside the city walls. His 
words are : — 

" I am persuaded (and so may easily, I think, anyone be that well 
observes the place) that the works both within and without the present wall 
of the city were not counterworks one against the other, as the vulgar 
opinion goes, but were sometimes all one entire plot containing about 3 
acres of ground, of a triangular form (the outwork) with a mount or hill 
entrenched round within it ; and that when first made or cast up it lay 
wholly without the city wall ; and hath been (the hill or mount, and most 
part also of the outwork), for the city^s more security, taken in and walled 
since ; that side of the trench encompassing the mound now lying without 
and under the wall fitly meeting with the rest of the city ditch, after either 
side of the earthwork was cut through to make way for it, at the time of the 
city's inditching."^ 

It is not often we are so fortunate as to have so clear 
a description of an earthwork which has almost entirely 
disappeared ; but the description is confirmed by 
Stukeley and Hasted, and down to the making of the 
Chatham and Dover railway in i860 the earthworks of 

* The hill is called the Dungan, Dangon, or Dungeon Hill in many old 
local deeds. See "Canterbury in Olden Times," Arch. Joiirn.^ 1856. 
Stukeley and Grose both call it the Dungeon Hill. 

2 See Appendix N. 

^ Somner's A?itiguities of Canterbury^ p. 144. Published in 1640. 

^ Antiquities of Cante7'bury'^ P- 75- 



118 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

the part of the bailey which was left outside the city wall 
were still to be seen, and were noticed by Mr G. T. 
Clark. -^ It is clear that Somner's description corresponds 
exactly, even in the detail of size, to the type of a motte- 
and-bailey castle. 

There are certain facts, which have not been put 
together before, which enable us to make a very probable 
guess as to the date at which this ancient castle was cut 
through by the newer city bank. The walls of Canter- 
bury have never yet received so careful an examination 
as those of Rochester have had from the Rev. Greville 
Livett ; ^ but the researches of Mr Pilbrow about thirty 
years ago showed that the original Roman walls included 
a very small area, which would leave both the motte and 
the Plantagenet castle outside.^ Certain entries in the 
Close Rolls show that the fortification of the town of 

^ Mr Clark thought there was another motte in the earthworks outside 
the walls, though he expresses himself doubtfully : " I rather think they [the 
mounds outside the city ditch] or one of them, looked rather like a moated 
mound, but I could not feel sure of it. Arch. Cantlana, xv., 344. Gostling 
[A Walk about Canterbury^ 1825) says there were two^ which is perhaps 
explained by a passage in Brayley's Kent {\ZoV)^ in which he describes the 
external fortification as " a lesser mount, now divided into two parts, with a 
ditch and embankment." P. 893. Stukeley's description (circa 1700) is as 
follows : " Within the walls is a very high mount, called Dungeon Hill ; a 
ditch and high bank enclose the area before it ; it seems to have been part 
of the old castle. Opposite to it without the walls is a hill, seeming to have 
been raised by the Danes when they besieged the city. The top of the 
Dungeon Hill is equal to the top of the castle." Itin. Curiosum, i., 122. It 
is of course not impossible that there may have been two mottes to this 
castle, as at Lewes and Lincoln, but such instances are rare, and it seems 
more likely that a portion of the bailey bank which happened to be in better 
preservation and consequently higher was mistaken for another mount. Mr 
Clark committed this very error at Tadcaster, and the other writers we have 
quoted were quite untrained as observers of earthen castles. At any rate 
there can be no doubt that the Dane John is the original chief citadel of this 
castle, as the statements of Somner, Stukeley, and we may add, Leland, are 
explicit. The most ancient maps of Canterbury, Hoefnagel's (1570), Smith's 
{Description of England^ 1588), and Grose's (1785), all show the Dungeon 
Hill within the walls, but take no notice of the outwork outside. 

^ Arcliceologia Cantiana^ xxxiii., 152. ^ Ibid.^ xxi. 



ii 



CANTERBURY 119 

Canterbury was going on in the years 1215-1225.^ But 
it is too often forgotten that where a wall stands on an 
earthen bank it is a clear proof that before the wall was 
built there was a wooden stockade in its place. Now 
the portion of the city wall which encloses the Dane John 
stands on an earthen bank ; so, indeed, does the whole 
wall from the Northgate to the castle. It is clear that 
this piece of bank cannot have been made till the first 
Norman castle, represented by the earthwork, was 
abandoned ; and fortunately we have some evidence 
which suggests a date for the change. In the Pipe Rolls 
of Henry II.'s reign there are yearly entries, beginning 
in 1 1 68, of 5s. paid to Adeliza Fitzsimon "for 
the exchange of her land which is in the castle of 
Canterbury." There can be little doubt that this land 
was purchased to build the great Plantagenet castle 
whose splendid keep was once one of the finest in 
England.^ The portion of the castle wall which can 
still be seen does not stand on an earthen bank, an 
indication (though not a proof) that the castle was on a 
new site. Henry II. was a great builder of stone keeps, 
but he seldom placed them on artificial mottes. It Is no 
uncommon thing to find an old motte-and-bailey castle 
abandoned for a better or larger site close at hand.^ 

The bailey of the second castle, according to 
Hasted, extended almost to the Dane John, which is 
about 800 feet from the present keep. The part of the 
older castle w^hlch lay outside the new city bank was 
possessed by a family of the name of Chlche from the 
time of Henry II. to that of Edward IV., while the 

^ Close Rolls^ i., 234b, ii., 7b, 89. 

^ Now, to the disgrace of the city of Canterbury, converted into gas- 
works. 

^ For instance, at Middleham, Rochester, Rhuddlan, and Morpeth. 



120 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Dungeon Hill itself remained royal property.^ That 
the new bank was Henry H.'s work we may conjecture 
from the passages in the Pipe Rolls, which show that 
between the years ii66and 1173 he spent about £2^ 
in enclosing the city of Canterbury and making a gate. 
We are therefore not without grounds for concluding 
that Henry H. was the first to enlarge the city by 
taking in the Dane John, cutting through the ancient 
bailey, and at the same time enclosing a piece of land 
for a new stone castle.^ The very small sum paid for the 
city gate (iis., equal to about £\\ of our money) 
suggests that the gate put up by Henry W. was a 
wooden gateway in the new stockaded bank. The 
stone walls and towers which were afterwards placed 
on the bank are of much later date than his reign. ^ 

^ Beauties of England and Wales, Kent, p. 893. 

^ The passages from the Pipe Roll bearing on this subject (which have 
not been noticed by any previous historian of Canterbury) are as follows : — 

1 166-7. In operatione civitatis Cantuar. claudendcc 

,, Ad claudendam civitatem Cantuar. 
I167-8. Pro claudenda civitate Cantuar. .... 
1 168-9. Ill terris datis Adelizse filie Simonis 15 solidos de tribus annis 

pro escambio terrae suae quae est in Castello de Cantuar. 
1 172-3. In operatione turris ejusdem civitatis 

,, In operatione predicte turris .... 

,, Summa denariorum quos vicecomes misit in operatione turris 
1 1 73-4. In operatione turris et Castelli Chant. 

,, In operatione turris Cantuar. .... 
1174-5. Et in warnisione ejusdem turris .... 

The latter extract, which refers to the provisioning of the keep, seems to 
show that it was then finished. The sums put down to the castle, amounting 
to about ;^4000 of our money, are not sufficient to defray the cost of so fine 
a keep. But the entries in the Pipe Rolls relate only to the SherifiPs 
accounts, and it is probable that the cost of the keep was largely paid out 
of the revenues of the archbishopric, which Henry seized into his own hands 
during the Becket quarrel. 

^ The portion of the wall of Canterbury, which rests on an earthen bank, 
extends from Northgate to the Castle, and is roughly semicircular in plan. 
In the middle of it was St George's Gate, which was anciently called 
Newingate (^QiO'=>'Ci\Vi%, p. 53) and may possibly have been Henry II. 's new 



. /5 19 


6 


20 





S I 

s 


I 


15 





10 





. 53 6 


8 


73 I 


4 


24 6 





5 II 


7 


5 8 






CARISBROOKE 121 

The Dungeon Hill appears to have been used for 
the last time as a fortification in 1643, when ordnance 
was placed upon It, and it was ordered to be guarded 
by the householders.-^ In 1790 it was converted into 
a pleasure-ground for the city ; the wide and deep 
ditch which had surrounded it was filled up, and 
serpentine walks cut to lead up to the summit. 
Brayley says that *'the ancient and venerable character 
of this eminence was wholly destroyed by incongruous 
additions." Still, enouQ^h remains to show that it was 
once a very fine motte, such as we might expect the 
Conqueror to raise to hold in check one of the most 
important cities of his new realm. 

The value of Canterbury had Increased from 51/. to 
54/. since the days of King Edward.^ 

Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight (Fig. 11). — There can 
be no doubt that this is the castle spoken of In Domesday 
Book under the manor of Alwinestone. Carisbrooke 
is in the immediate neighbourhood of Alvington. The 
language in which the Survey speaks of this manor is 
worthy of note. '' The king holds Alwinestone : Donnus 
held it. It then paid geld as two and a half hides : now 
as two hides, because the castle sits in one virgate."^ 
Certain entries similar to this in other places seem to 
indicate that there was some remission of geld granted 
on the building of a castle ; ^ but as here the king was 
himself the owner, the remission must have been 
granted to his tenants. 



gate. The part enclosing the Dungeon Hill is angular, and appeared to 
Mr Clark, as well as to Somner and Hasted, to have been brought out at 
this angle in order to enclose the hill. 

^ Arch. Joiirn.^ 1856. ^ D. B., i., 2a, i. 

^ "Isdem rex tenet Alwinestone. Donnus tenuit. Tunc pro duabus 
hidis et dimidia. Modo pro duabus hidis, quia castellum sedet in una 
virgata." D. B., i., 2a, i. ■* See below, under Windsor. 



122 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

The original castle of Carisbrooke consists of a high 
motte, ditched round, placed at the corner of a parallelo- 
gram with rounded corners. This bailey, covering 2^ 
acres, is surrounded by high banks, which testify to the 
former presence of a wooden stockade. There is 
another bailey on the eastern side, called the Tilt-yard. 
The excellent little local guide - book compiled by 
Mr Stone calls this a British camp, but there is no 
reason to believe that it was anything else than what 
it appears to be — a second bailey added as the castle 
grew in importance. On the motte is a shell of 
polygonal form, of rubble masonry, but having quoins 
of well-dressed ashlar. It is believed to be of the time 
of Henry I., since the author of the Gesta Stephani 
states that Baldwin de Redvers, son of Richard de 
Redvers, to whom Henry granted the lordship of the 
Isle of Wight, had a castle there splendidly built of 
stone, defended by a strong fortification.^ This would 
indicate that, besides the stone keep, stone walls were 
added to the earthworks of the Domesday castle. The 
keep is of peculiar interest, as it still retains the remains 
of the old arrangements in keeps of this style, though 
of much later date. The motte was opened in 1893, 
and was found to be composed of alternate layers of 
large and small chalk rubble.^ Little attention has 
hitherto been paid to the construction of these Norman 
mottes, but other instances have been noted which show 
that they were often built with great care. The whole 
castle, including the Tilt-yard, was surrounded with an 
elaborate polygonal fortification in Elizabeth's reign, 
when the Spanish Invasion was expected. 

^ " In hac [insula] castellum habebat ornatissimum lapidum asdificio 
constructum, validissimo munimine firmatum." Gesta Stephani^ R. S., p. 28. 
- Stone's Official Guide to the Castle of Carisbrooke^ p. 39. 



, CARLISLE 123 

The value of the manor of Alvington had increased 
at the time of the Survey, though the number of ploughs 
employed had actually decreased. This increase must 
have been owing to the erection of the castle, which 
provided security for trade and agriculture. Alvington 
was not the centre of a large soke in the Confessor's 
time, so it is unlikely that there was any fortification 
there in Saxon days.^ 

Carlisle, Cumberland (Fig. 1 2). — This castle was built 
by William Rufus in 1092, when for the first time Cumber- 
land was brought under Norman sway. The Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle says, ''he repaired the burh, and reared 
the castle," a passage which is sufficient of itself to show 
that burh and castle were two quite different things. 
Carlisle of course was a Roman fortress, and needed only 
the repairing of its walls. The castle was a new thing, 
and was placed outside the city. Its plan, which is 
roughly a triangle, with the apex formed into a small 
court by a ditch which (formerly) separated it from the 
bailey, looks very suggestive of a previous motte and 
bailey, such as we might expect the Norman king to 
have thrown up. The keep is known to have been built 
by David, king of Scotland, in Stephen's reign, ^ and 
it is possible that he may have removed the motte. The 
castle appears to have had a wooden pehun or palicitini 
on its outer banks as late as 1319.^ The whole area 
covers 4 acres. 

^ Mr W. H. Stevenson, in his edition of Asser, pp. 173, 174, shows that 
the name Carisbrooke cannot possibly be derived from Wihtgares-burh, as 
has been sometimes supposed, as the older forms prove it to have come 
from drook, not dur/i. The lines of the present castle banks, if produced, 
would not correspond with those of the Tilt-yard, which is proof that the 
Norman castle was not formed by cutting an older fortification in two. 

^ Bower's Scotochronicon^ v., xlii. Cited by Mr Neilson, Notes and 
Queries^ viii., 321. See also Palgrave, Documents and Records^ i., 103. 

^ Cal. of Close Rolls^ Edward II., iii., 161. 



124 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Castle Acre, Norfolk (Fig. 12).- — There can be no 
doubt that this castle existed in the nth century, as 
William de Warenne mentions it in the charter of 
foundation of Lewes Priory, one of the most interesting 
and human of monastic charters.^ The earthworks still 
remaining of this castle are perhaps the finest castle 
earthworks in England ; the banks enclosing the bailey 
are vast. The large and high motte carries a wall 
of flint rubble, built outside and thus revetting the earthen 
bank which formed its first defence. In the small court 
thus enclosed (about 100 feet in diameter) the foundations 
of an oblong keep can be discerned. A very wide ditch 
surrounds the motte, and below it is a horse-shoe bailey, 
about 2 acres in extent, stretching down to the former 
swamps of the river Nar. On the east side of the motte 
is a small half-moon annexe, with its own ditch ; this 
curious addition is to be found in several other motte 
castles,^ and is believed to have been a work intended 
to defend the approach, of the nature of a barbican. On 
the west side of the motte is the village of Castle Acre, 
enclosed in an oblong earthwork with an area of 10 
acres. This work now goes by the name of the 
Barbican, but probably this name has been extended 
to it from a barbican covering the castle entrance (of 
which entrance the ruins still remain). It is most likely 
that this enclosure was a burgtts attached to the castle. 
Mr Harrod, who excavated the banks, found quantities 
of Roman pottery, which led him to think that the work 
was Roman ; but as the pottery was all broken, it is 
more likely that the banks were thrown up on the site 
of some Roman villa.^ This earthwork has a northern 

1 Mon. A7ig.^ v., 12. "Castelli nostri de Acra." \ 

2 As at Burton, Mexborough, Lilbourne, and Castle Colwyn. 

^ Harrod^s Gleanings among the Castles and Co?tvents of Norfolk. See 
also Arch. Joiirn.^ xlvi., 441. 



'A 



I 




Carlisle. 




Castle Acre, Norfolk. 



Fig. 12. 



[To face 2K 124. 



CHEPSTOW 125 

entrance In masonry, evidently of 13th century date; 
and as the scanty masonry remaining of the castle Is 
similar In character, It Is probably all of the same date. 
The area covered by the motte and the two original 
baileys Is 3|- acres ; that of the whole series of earth- 
works, 15 acres. 

Acre was only a small manor In Saxon times ; Its 
value at the time of the Survey had risen from 5/. to 9/.^ 

Chepstow (Estrighoel or Strigul), Monmouthshire. — 
Notwithstanding the fact that there is another castle of 
the name of Strlgul about 9 miles from Chepstow (known 
also as Troggy Castle), it is clear that Chepstow Is the 
castle meant by Domesday, as the entry speaks of ships 
going up the river, a thing impossible at Strigul." The 
castle occupies a narrow ridge, well defended by the 
river on one side, and on the other by a valley which 
separates It from the town. There are four wards, and 
the last and smallest of all seemed to the writer, when 
visltinor the castle, to mark the site of a lowered motte. 
This opinion, however, is not shared by two competent 
observers, Mr Harold Sands and Mr Duncan Mont- 
gomerle, who had much ampler opportunities for 
studying the remains. This ward is now a barbican, 
and the masonry upon it belongs clearly to the 13th 
century ; It occupies the highest ground In the castle, 
and is separated from the other wards, and from the 
ridge beyond it, by two ditches cut across the headland. 
The adjoining court must have belonged to the earliest 



1 D. B., ii., 1 60b. 

^ "Castellum de Estrighoiel fecit Willelmus comes, et ejus tempore 
reddebat 40 solidos, tantum de navibus in silvam euntibus.'"' D. B., i., 162. 
Tanner has shown that while Chepstow was an ahen priory of Cormeille, in 
Normandy, it is never spoken of by that name in the charters of Cormeille, 
but is always called Strigulia. Notitia Monastica^ Monmouthshire. See 
also Marsh's Annals of Chepstow Castle, 



126 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

part of the castle, as It contains a very remarkable early 
Norman building (splendidly restored in the 13th century) 
which is regarded by most authorities as the original 
hall of William FitzOsbern. It must, however, have 
combined both hall and keep, otherwise the castle was 
not provided with any citadel, if there was no motte.^ 
What is now the second ward has a Norman postern in 
the south wall, and may have been the bailey to the keep. 
All the other masonry is of the late Early English or 
the Perpendicular period, and the entrance ward is 
probably an addition of the 13th century. The shape 
of all the baileys is roughly quadrangular, except that 
of the fourth, which would be semicircular but for the 
towers which make corners to it. The whole area of 
the castle is if acres. 

We are not told what the value of the manor was 
before William FitzOsbern built his castle there, but 
from the absence of this mention we may infer that the 
site was waste. It paid 40s. in his time from ships' 
dues, 16/. in his son Earl Roger's time, and at the date 
of the Survey it paid the king 12/." Chepstow was not 
the centre of a large soke, and it appears to have owed 
all its importance to the creation of William Fitz- 
Osbern's castle. 

Chester. — The statement of Ordericus, that 
William I. founded this castle on his return from 
his third visit to York, is sufficiently clear.^ The very 
valuable paper of Mr E. W. Cox on Chester Castle* 

1 I must confess that in spite of very strong opposing opinions, I see 
no reason why this building should not be classed as a keep. It is of 
course a gross error to call Martin's Tower the keep ; it is only a mural 
tower. 

2 D. B., 162, la. 

^ "Cestriae munitionem condidit." P. 199 (Prevost's edition). 
* Chester Historical a?td A re hceo logical Society^ v., 239. 



I 



i! 



CHESTER 127 

answers most of the questions which pertain to our 
present inquiry. The original castle of Chester con- 
sisted of the motte, which still remains, though much 
built over, and the small ward on the edge of which 
it stands, a polygonal enclosure scarcely an acre in 
extent. On the motte the vaulted basement of a tower 
still remains, but the style is so obscured by whitewash 
and modern accretions that it is impossible to say 
whether the vaulting is not modern. The first buildings 
were certainly of wood, but Mr Cox regarded some of 
the existing masonry on the motte as belonging to the 
1 2th century ; and this would correspond with the entry 
in the Pipe Rolls of 102/. 7^. od. spent on the castle by 
Henry II. in 1159.^ The tower, nicknamed Caesar's 
Tower, and frequently mistaken for the keep, is shown in 
Mr Cox's paper to be only a mural tower of the 13th 
century, probably built when the first ward was 
surrounded with walls and towers in masonry.^ The 
large outer bailey was first added in the reign of Henry 
1 11.^ It is further proved by Mr Cox that Chester 
Castle stood outside the walls of the Roman city. The 
manor of Gloverstone lay between it and the city, and 
was not under the jurisdiction of the city until quite 
recent times. ^ This disposes of the ball set rolling by 
Brompton at the end of the 13th century, and sent on 
by most Chester topographers ever since, that Ethel- 
fleda, when she restored the Roman walls of Chester, 

1 Pipe Rolls, ii., 7. Ranulph, Earl of Chester, died in 1153, and 
the castle would then escheat into the king's hands. 

2 This work seems to have been completed in the reign of Edward II., 
who spent £2^1 o^ the houses, towers, walls, and gates. Cal. of Close Rolls, 
Edward II., ii., 294. 

2 Close Rolls, 35, Henry III., cited by Ormerod, History of Cheshire, 
i., 358. 

"* See Mr Cox's paper, as above, and Shrubsole, Chester Hist, and Arch. 
Sac, v., 175, and iii.. New Series, p. 71. 



128 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

enlarged their circuit so as to take In the castle. We 
have already referred to this In Chapter IIL 

Chester, as we have seen, was originally a royal 
castle. And though It was naturally committed to the 
keeping of the Norman earls of Chester, and under weak 
kings may have been regarded by the earls as their own 
property, no such claim was allowed under a strong 
ruler. After the insurrection of the younger Henry, 
Hugh, Earl of Chester, forfeited his lands; Henry H. 
restored them to him in ii 77, but was careful to keep 
the castle In his own hands. ^ 

The city of Chester, Domesday Book tells us, had 
greatly gone down in value when the earl received it, 
probably in 1070 ; twenty-five houses had been destroyed. 
But It had already recovered its prosperity at the date 
of the Survey ; there were as many houses as before, and 
the ferm of the city was now let by the earl at a sum 
greatly exceeding the ferm paid in King Edward's time.^ 
This prosperity must have been due to the security 
provided for the trade of Chester by the Norman castle 
and Norman rule. 

Clifford, Herefordshire (Fig. 13). — It is clearly 
stated by Domesday Book that William FitzOsbern 
built this castle on waste land.^ At the date of the 
Survey it was held by Ralph de Todeni, who had sub- 
let it to the sheriff. In the many castles attributed to 
William FitzOsbern, who built them as the king's 
vicegerent, we may see an Indication that the building 
of castles, even on the marches of Wales, was not 
undertaken without royal license. In the reIgn of 
Henry I. Clifford Castle had already passed into the 

1 Benedict of Peterborough^ i., 135, R. S. ^ D. B., i., 262b. 

2 "Willelmus comes fecit illud [castellum] in wasta terra quam tenebat 
Bruning T. R. E." D. B., i., 183a, 2. 




-2. 



Feet. 

Clifford. Hereford. 




Clitheroe, Laxcs. 




Church 



Corke, Dorset. 



Fig. 13. 



[To face p. 12s. 



CLIFFORD— CLITHEROE 129 

hands of Richard FItz Pons, the ancestor of the 
celebrated house of Clifford, and one of the barons of 
Bernard de Neufmarche, the Norman conqueror of 
Brecon.-^ 

The castle has a large motte, roughly square in 
shape, which must be in part artificial.^ Attached to it 
on the south-west is a curious triangular ward, included 
in the ditch which surrounds the motte. The masonry 
on the motte is entirely of the *' Edwardian " style, when 
keepless castles were built ; It consists of the remains of 
a hall, and a mural tower which is too small to be called 
a keep. There Is also a small court, with a wall which 
stands on a low bank. Below the motte is an Irregular 
bailey of about 2\ acres, with earthen banks which do 
not appear to have ever carried any masonry, though in 
the middle of the court there Is a small mound which 
evidently covers the remains of buildings. The whole 
area of the castle, including the motte and the two 
baileys. Is about 3|- acres. 

The value of the manor had apparently risen from 
nothing to 8/. 5^. Clifford was not the centre of a 
large soke. 

Clitheroe, Lancashire (Fig. 13). — There is no 
express mention of this castle in Domesday Book, but 
of two places in Yorkshire, Barnoldswick and Calton, it 
is said that they are in the castellate of Roger the 
Poitevin.^ A castellate implies a castle, and as there is 

^ "Ancient Charters," Pipe Roll Society^ vol. x., charter xiii., and Mr 
Round's note, p. 25. 

^ It is extraordinary that Mr Clark, in his description of this castle, does 
not mention the motte, except by saying that the outer ward is 60 or 70 feet 
lower than the inner. M. M. A., i., 395. 

^ This passage occurs in a sort of appendix to Domesday Book, which 
is said to be in a later hand, of the 12th century. (Skaife, Vor^s. Arch. 
Journ.^ Part Iv., p. 299.) It cannot, however, be very late in the 12th 
century, as it speaks of Roger's holdings in Craven in the present tense. 

I 



130 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

no other castle In the Craven district (to which the 
words of the Survey relate) except Skipton, which did 
not form part of Roger's property, there is no reason to 
doubt that this castle was Clitheroe, which for centuries 
was the centre of the Honour of that name. The whole 
land between the Ribble and the Mersey had been given 
by William L to this Roger, the third son of his trusted 
supporter, Earl Roger of Shrewsbury. One can under- 
stand why William gave Important frontier posts to the 
energetic and unscrupulous young men of the house of 
Montgomerl, one of whom was the adviser and archi- 
tect of William Rufus, another a notable warrior in 
North Wales, another the conqueror of Pembrokeshire. 
As it appears from the Survey that Roger's possessions 
stretched far beyond the Ribble Into Yorkshire and 
Cumberland, It seems quite possible — though here we 
are in the region of conjecture — that just as his father 
and brothers had a free hand to conquer as they listed 
from the North and South Welsh, so Roger had a 
similar commission for the hilly districts still uncon- 
quered in the north-west of England. But fortune did 
not favour the Montgomerl family for long. They were 
exiled from England in 1102 for siding with Robert 
Curthose, and In the same year we find the castle of 
Clitheroe In the hands of Robert de Lacy, lord of the 
great Yorkshire fief of Pontefract.^ 

The castle of Clitheroe stands on a lofty motte of 
natural rock.^ There are no earthworks on the summit, 

^ See Farrer's Lancashire Pipe Rolls^ p. 385. The castle is not actually, 
mentioned, but " le Bailie " (the bailey) is spoken of. Mr Farrer also prints 
an abstract of a charter of Henry I. (1102): "per quam concessit eidem" 
Roberto [de Laci] Boelandam [Bowland] quam tenuit de Rogero Comite 
Pictavensi, ut extunc eam de eodem rege teneat." P. 382. 

^ In an inquisition of Henry de Laci ( + 1311) it is said that " castelli] 
mote et fossae valent nihil." (Whitaker's Hisfojy of IVhalley, p. 280.) Thijf 
is probably an instance of the word inotie being applied to a natural rocli 



1 



CLITHEROE 131 

but a stout wall of limestone rubble without buttresses 
encloses a small court, on whose south-west side stands 
the keep. It is just possible that the outer wall may be 
the original work of Roger, as limestone rubble would be 
easier to get than earth on this rocky hill. The keep is 
small, rudely built of rubble, and has neither fireplace 
nor garde-robe, nor the slightest ornamental detail — not 
even a string course. But in spite of the entire absence 
of ornament, a decorative effect has been sought and 
obtained by making the quoins, voussoirs, and lintels of 
a dressed yellow sandstone. The care with which this 
has been done is inconsistent with the haste with which 
Roger must inevitably have constructed his first fortifica- 
tion, if we suppose, as is probable, that he received the 
first grant of his northern lands on William's return 
in 1070 from his third visit to the north, when he made 
that remarkable march through Lancashire to Chester 
which is described by Ordericus. It seems more likely 
that even if the outer wall or shell were the work of 
Roger, he had only wooden buildings inside its circuit. 
Dugdale attributes the building of the keep to the 
second Robert de Lacy, between 1187 and 1194, ^^^ it 
is probable that this date is correct.-^ The bailey of 
Clitheroe lay considerably below the keep, and is now 
overbuilt with a modern house, offices, and garden. It 
covers one acre. A Roman road up the valley of the 
Ribble passes near the foot of the rock.^ 



I which served that purpose. See another instance under Nottingham, 

pos^^ p. 176. 

^ Dugdale's Baronage, i., p. 99. Dugdale's authority appears to have 

been the "Historia Laceiorum," a very untrustworthy document, but which 
I may have preserved a genuine tradition in this instance. The loopholes in 
; the basement of the keep, with the large recesses, appear to have been 
I intended for crossbows, and the crossbow was not reintroduced into 
1 England till the reign of Richard I. 
I '^ Vic/oria I/zstory of Lancashire, ii.f s^3- 



132 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

As the very name of Clitheroe is not mentioned in 
Domesday Book, it clearly was not an important centre 
in Saxon times. The value of Blackburn Hundred, in 
which Clitheroe is situated, had fallen between the 
Confessor's time and the time when Roger received it. 
It is quite possible that he never lived at Clitheroe, as 
he sub-infeoffed the manor and Hundred of Blackburn 
to Roger de Busli and Albert Greslet before 1086.^ 

Colchester, Essex. — The remarkable keep of this 
castle has been the subject of antiquarian legend for 
many centuries, and Mr Clark has the merit of having 
proved its early Norman origin, by its plan and archi- 
tecture. A charter of Henry I. is preserved in the 
cartulary of St John's Abbey at Colchester, which 
grants to Eudes the Dapifer '' the city of Colchester, 
and the tow^er and the castle, and all the fortifications of 
the castle, just as my father had them and my brother 
and myself."^ This proves that the keep and castle 
were in existence in the Conqueror's time ; the Norman 
character of the architecture proves that the keep was 
not in existence earlier. We see, then, that the reason 
there is no motte at Colchester is that there was a stone 
keep built when first the castle was founded. As far as 
we are aware, Colchester, the Tower of London, and the 
recently discovered keep of Pevensey are the only certain 
instances of stone keeps of the nth century in England. 

That one of the most important of the Conqueror's ; 
castles, second only to the Tower of London, and : 
actually exceeding It in the area it covers, should be ; 
found in Colchester, is not surprising, because the 
Eastern counties at the time of the Conquest were not 

^ See Farrer, La7uashire Pipe Rolls^ i., 260. 

2 Printed by Mr Round in Essex Arch. Society s Transactions, vii., 
Part ii. The charter is dated iioi. 



COLCHESTER 133 

only the wealthiest part of the kingdom (as Domesday 
Book clearly shows ^), but they also needed special 
protection from the attacks of Scandinavian enemies. 
Mr Round has conjectured that the castle was built at 
the time of the invasion of St Cnut, between 1080 and 

1085.^ 

The castle is built of Roman stones used over again, 
with rows of tiles Introduced between the courses with 
much decorative effect.^ The original doorway was on 
the first floor, as in most Norman keeps ; but at some 
after time, probably in the reign of Henry I.,^ the present 
doorway was inserted ; and most likely the handsome 
stairway which now leads up from this basement 
entrance was added, as it shows clear marks of insertion. 
Henry H. was working on the walls of the castle in 
1282, and it may be strongly suspected that the repairs 
in ashlar, and the casing of the buttresses with ashlar, 
were his work.^ One item in the accounts of Henry H. 
is ^50 "for making the bailey round the castle."*^ 
There were two baileys to the castle of Colchester — the 
inner one, which scarcely covered 2 acres, and the outer 
one, which contained about 11. The inner bailey was 
enclosed at first with an earthwork and stockade, the 
earthwork being thrown up over the remains of some 

^ See Maitland, Doinesday Book and Beyo7id^ p. 22. 

- History of Colchester Castle^ p. 141. 

"^ It has been much debated whether these tiles are Roman or Norman ; 
the conclusion seems to be that they are mixed. See Round's History of 
Colchester^ p, 78. 

^ The single Pipe Roll of Henry I. shows that he spent ^33, 15s. on 
I repairs of the castle and borough in 1130. 

"* In operatione unius Rogi (a kiln), ^13, i8s. In reparatione muri 
castelli, ;^i6, 3s. 2d. The projection of the buttresses (averaging i ft. 3 ins.) 
is about the same as that found in castles of Henry I. or Henry II.'s time. 

^ Ad faciendum Ballium circa castellum, ^50. Pipe Rolls, xix., 13. 
This is followed by another entry of ^18, 13s. yd. "in operatione castelli," 
which may refer to the same work. 



134 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Roman walls, whose line it does not follow. Afterwards 
a stone wall was built on the earthwork, the foundations 
of which can still be traced in the west rampart.^ The 
outer bailey, which lay to the north, extended on two 
sides to the Roman walls of the town ; on the west side 
it had a rampart and stockade. If the ^50 spent by 
Henry II. represents the cost of a stone wall round the 
inner bailey, then \\\^ palicuirji blown down by the wind 
in 1 2 19 must have been the wooden stockade on the 
west side of the outer bailey.^ The question is difficult 
to decide, but at any rate the entry proves that as late 
as Henry III.'s reign, some part of the outer defences 
of Colchester Castle was still of timber. 

The position of Colchester Castle is exceptional in 
one respect, that the castle is almost in the middle of 
the town. But this very unusual position is explained 
by Mr Round's statement that the land forming the 
castle baileys, as well as that afterwards given to the 
Grey Friars on the east, was crown demesne before the 
Conquest, and consequently had been cultivated land, so 
that we do not hear of any houses in Colchester being 
destroyed for the site of the castle.^ But by keeping 
this land as the inalienable appendage of the royal castle 
William secured that communication between the castle 
and the outside country which was so essential to the 
invaders. 

The value of the city of Colchester had risen enor- 
mously at the date of the Survey. "* 

^ Round's History of Colchester. 

2 Close Rolls^ i., 389. Mandamus to the bishop of London to choose 
two lawful and discreet men of Colchester, "et per visum eorum erigi 
faceatis palicium castri nostri Colecestrie, quod nuper prostratum fuit per 
tempestatem." 

2 Round's History of Colchester^ pp. 135, 136. 

"* Tota civitas ex omnibus debitis reddebat T. R. E., ^15, 5s. 4d., in 
unoquoque anno. Modo reddit ;^i6o. D. B., ii., 107. 



CORFE 135 

CoRFE, Dorset (Fig. 13). — Mr Eyton has shown that 
for the castellum Warham of Domesday Book we ought 
to read Corfe, because the castle was built in the manor 
of Kingston, four miles from Wareham.^ And this is 
made clear by the Testa de Nevill, which says that the 
church of Gillingham was given to the nunnery of 
Shaftesbury in exchange for the land on which the 
castle of Corfe is placed.^ Because King Edward the 
Martyr was murdered at Corfe, at some place where his 
stepmother Elfrida was residing, it has been inferred 
that there was a Saxon castle at Corfe ; and because 
there is a building with some herring-bone work among 
the present ruins, it has been assumed that this building 
is the remains of that castle or palace. But the Aftglo- 
Saxon Chronicle, the only contemporary authority for 
the event, says nothing of any castle at Corfe, but simply 
tells us that Edward was slain at Corfe Geat, a name 
which evidently alludes to a gap or passage through the 
chalk hills, such as there is at Corfe.^ Nor is there any 
mention of Corfe as a fortress in Anglo-Saxon times ; 
it is not named in the Btirghal Hidage, and we do not 
hear of any sieges of it by the Danes. Nor is it likely 
that the Saxons would have had a fortress at Corfe, 
when they had a fortified town so near as Wareham."* 

^ Eyton, Key to Domesday, p. 43. This passage was kindly pointed out 
to me by Dr Round. The castle is not mentioned in Domesday under 
Wareham, but under Kingston. " De manerio Chingestone habet rex unam 
hidam, in qua fecit castellum Warham, et pro ea dedit S. Marias [of Shaftes- 
bury] ecclesiam de Gelingeham cum appendiciis suis." D. B., i,, 78b, 2. 

^ "Advocatio ecclesie de Gillingeham data fuit abbati \sic\ de S. 
Edwardo in escambium pro terra ubi castellum de Corf positum est." Testa 
de Nevill, 164b. 

^ It is by no means certain that Corfe was the scene of Edward's murder, 
as we learn from a charter of Cnut {Mon. Ang., iii., 55) that there was a 
Corfe Geat not far from Portisham, probably the place now called Coryates. 

* Called by Asser a castelluin; but it has already been pointed out that 
castellum in early writers means a walled town and not a castle. (See p. 25.) 



136 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Kingston, the manor in which Corfe is situated, was not 
an important place, as it had no dependent soke. The 
language of Domesday absolutely upsets the idea of any 
Saxon castle or palace at Corfe, as it tells us that 
William obtained the land for his castle from the nuns 
of Shaftesbury, and we may be quite sure they had no 
castle there/ 

Corfe Castle stands on a natural hill, which has been 
so scarped artificially that the highest part now forms a 
large motte. Three wards exist — the eastern or motte 
ward, the western, and the southern. The two former 
probably formed the original castle. On the motte 
(which possibly is not artificial, but formed by scarping) 
stands the lofty keep, of splendid workmanship, 
probably of the time of Henry L In the ward 
pertaining to it are buildings of the time of John and 
Henry HL^ The western ward has towers of the 13th 
century, but it also contains the interesting remains of 
an early Norman building, probably a hall or chapel, 
built largely of herring-bone w^ork ; this is the building 
which has been so positively asserted to be a Saxon 
palace. But herring-bone masonry, which used to be 
thought an infallible sign of Saxon work, is now found 
to be more often Norman.^ The building is certainly 

Wareham is a town fortified by an earthen vallum and ditch, and is one of 
the boroughs of the Burghal Hidage. (See Ch. II., p. 28.) A Norman castle 
was built there after the Conquest, and its motte still remains. D. B. says 
seventy-three houses were utterly destroyed from the time of Hugh the 
Sheriff. I., 75. 

^ Edred granted " to the religious woman, Elfthryth," supposed to be 
the Abbess of Shaftesbury, " pars telluris Purbeckinga," which would include 
Corfe. Mon. A7ig.^ ii., 478. 

- Both these kings spent large sums on Corfe Castle. See the citations 
from the Pipe Rolls in Hutchins' Dorset^ vol. i., and in Mr Bond's History 
of Corfe Castle. 

^ See Professor Baldwin Brown's paper in the Journal of the Institute of 
British Architects^ Third Series, ii., 488, and Mr Micklethwaite's in Arch. 



CORFE 137 

an ancient one, and may possibly have been contem- 
porary with the first Norman castle ; its details are 
unmistakably Norman. But very likely it was the only 
Norman masonry of the nth century at Corfe Castle.^ 
It is clear that the stone wall which at present surrounds 
the western bailey did not exist when the hall (or 
chapel) was built, as it blocks up its southern windows. 
Probably there was a palisade at first on the edge of 
the scarp. Palisades still formed part of the defences of 
the castle in the time of Henry III., when 62/. was 
paid *'for making two good walls in place of the 
palisades at Corfe between the old bailey of the said 
castle and the middle bailey towards the west, and 
between the keep of the said castle and the outer bailey 
towards the south." ^ This shows that the present 
wing-walls down from the motte were previously repre- 
sented by stockades. The ditch between the keep and 
the southern bailey has been attributed to King John, 
on the strength of an entry in the Close Rolls which 
orders fifteen miners and stone-masons to work on the 
banks of the ditch in 1214.^ But we may be quite 
certain that this ditch below the motte belons^ed to the 
original plan of the castle ; John's work would be either 
to line it with masonry, or to enlarge It. It is not 
without significance for the early history of the castle 
that Durandus the carpenter held the manor of 
Mouldham near Corfe, by the service of finding a 
carpenter to work at the keep whenever required.^ 
The area of Corfe Castle, if we include the large 

Journ.^ liii., 338 ; also Professor Baldwin Brown's remarks on Corfe Castle 
in The Arts in Early England, ii., 71. 

^ There are other instances in which the chapel is the oldest piece of 
mason-work about the castle, as, for example, at Pontefract. 

- Cited in Hutchins' Dorset, i., 488, from the Close Rolls. 

" Close Rolls, i., 178b. ■* Hutchins' Dorset, i., 488. 



138 CASTI.ES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

southern bailey, is 3I acres ; without it, i|- acres. This 
bailey was certainly in existence in the reign of Henry 
III. (as the extract from the Close Rolls proves) before 
the towers of superb masonry were added to it by 
Edward I. 

The value of Kingston Manor had considerably 
increased at the date of the Survey. After the Count 
of Mortain forfeited his lands (in 1105), the castle of 
Corfe was kept in the hands of the crown, and this 
increases the probability that the keep was built by 
Henry I. 

About 400 yards S.W. of Corfe Castle is an 
earthwork which might be called a '' Ring and Bailey." 
Instead of the usual motte there is a circular enclosure, 
defended by a bank and ditch of about the same height 
as those of its bailey, but having in addition an interior 
platform or berm. This work is probably the remains 
of a camp thrown up by Stephen during his unsuc- 
cessful siege of Corfe Castle in 1 139. 

Dover, Kent (Fig. 14). — The Norman historian, 
William of Poitiers, tells us that the castrum of Dover 
was built by Harold at his own expense.^ This comes 
from the celebrated story of the oath of Harold to 
William, a story of which Mr Freeman says that there 
is no portion of our history more entangled in the mazes 
of contradictory and often impossible statements.^ But 
let us assume the statement about the castrum to be 
true ; the question then to be answered is this : of what 
nature was that castrum ? We never are told by 
English chroniclers that Harold built any castles, 
though we do hear of his fortifying towns. The present 

^ Castrum Doveram, studio atque sumptu suo communitum. P. io8. 
Eadmer makes Harold promise to William " Castellum Dofris cum puteo 
aquae ad opus meum te facturum.^^ Hist. Novorum, i., d. The castle is 
not mentioned in Domesday Book. ^ Norman Co?iquest^ iii., 217. 



m 



V 



X. 



I - 



"JT •'N. .'^. 



Scale of Feet 

O too 200 300 ^oo Soo 600 



- -. .%. 




?8 



3r% 




1 •-/ 



l^>-. Ia:^?^^:^^^-' 




V>i ■ 



'.V 






Dover. 
(From a plan in the British Museum, 1756.) 



Fig. 14. 



{To Jacc p. 13S. 



DOVER 139 

writer would answer this question, tentatively indeed, 
and under correction, by the theory that the castrum 
constructed or repaired by Harold was the present outer 
rampart of Dover Castle, which encloses an area of 
about 34 acres, and may have enclosed more, if it was 
formerly complete on the side towards the sea.^ The 
evidence in support of this theory is as follows : — 

1. There certainly was a burh on the top of the cliff 
at Dover in Saxon times, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 
tells us that in 1048 Eustace of Boulogne, after coming 
to Dover, and slaying householders there, went up to 
the burh, and slew people both within and without, but 
was repulsed by the burh-men.^ There was then a 
burh, and valiant burh-men on the cliff at Dover in 
Edward the Confessor's reign. But the whole analogy 
of the word burh makes it certain that by the time of 
Edward it meant a fortified town.^ 

2. That the burh at Dover was of the nature of a 
town, with houses in it, is confirmed by the poem of Guy 
of Amiens, who says that when King William entered 
the castrum, he ordered the English to evacuate their 
houses. "* William of Poitiers also states that there was an 

^ In 1580 an earthquake threw down a portion of the cliff on which the 
castle stands, and part of the walls. Statham's History of Dover, p. 287. 

^ "Wendon him tha up to thaere burge-weard, and ofslogen aegther ge 
withinnan ge withutan, ma thanne 20 manna." Another MS. adds "tha 
burh-menn ofslogen 19 men on othre healfe, and ma gewundode, and 
Eustatius atbaerst mid feawum mannum." ^ See ante, pp. 17-19. 

■* His description is worth quoting : 

Est ibi mons alius, strictum mare, litus opacum, 
Hinc hostes citius Anglica regna petunt ; 
Sed castrum Doverae, pendens a vertice montis, 
Hostes rejiciens, littora tuta facit. 
Clavibus acceptis, rex intrans moenia castri 
Praecepit Angligenis evacuare domos ; 
Hos introduxit per quos sibi regna subegit, 
Unuraquemque suum misit ad hospitium. 

"Carmen de Bello Hastingensi,''* in Monumenta Britannica, p. 603. 



140 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

innumerable multitude of people In the castle,^ though 
he may refer to a multitude gathered there for safety. 

3. Though the whole of the outer enceinte is 
generally credited to Hubert de Burgh in Henry HL's 
reign, the truth probably is that he built the first stone 
walls and towers on the outer rampart ; but the existence 
of this earthen rampart shows that there was a wooden 
wall upon it previously. It is not improbable that it 
was for the repair of this wooden wall that so much 
timber was sent to Dover in the reigns of Richard L 
and John.^ Bering, who was lieutenant of the castle in 
1629, records the tradition that the tower in the outer 
enceinte, called Canons' Gate, dates from Saxon times 
(of course this could only be true of a wooden prede- 
cessor of the stone tower), and that Godwin's Tower, on 

1 William's description is also of great interest : " Deinde dux contendit 
Doueram, ubi multus populus congregatus erat, pro inexpugnabile, ut sibi 
videtur, munitione ; quia id castellum situm est in rupe mari contigua, quae 
naturaliter acuta undique ad hoc ferramentis elaborate incisa, in speciem 
muri directissima altitudine, quantum sagittas jactus permetiri potest, 
consurgit, quo in latere unda marina alluitur." P. 140. 

- The following entries in the Pipe Rolls refer to this : — 

1 194-5. Three hundred planks of oak for the ^vorks of the castle 
I196-7, Repair of the wall of the castle .... 

1208-9. Timber for walling the castles of Dover and Rochester, also 
rods and [wooden] hurdles and other needful things 
1210-11. Payment for the carpenters working the timber 
1 21 2-1 3. For the carriage of limber and other things . 
1214-15. For the carriage of timber for the castle works 
1 214-15. For timber and brushwood for the works, and for cutting 

down wood to make hurdles, and sending them . sum not given, 

but ;!^ioo entered same year for the works of the castle. There is no 
mention of stone for the castle during these two reigns, but after the death 
of John we find that works are going on at Dover for which kilns are 
required. {Close Rolls, i., 352, 1218.) This entry is follow^ed by a very 
large expenditure on Dover Castle (amounting to at least ^6000), sufficient 
to cover the cost of a stone wall and towers round the outer circuit. The 
orders of planks for joists must be for the towers, and the large quantities of 
lead, for roofing them. The order for timber "ad palum et aha facienda" 
in 1225 may refer to a stockade on the advanced work called the Spur, 
which is said to be Hubert's work. {Close Rolls, ii., 14.) 

I 



£2 





76 3 





76 13 


4 


24 9 


5 


48 16 


7 


2 






\A 



DOVER 141 

the east side of the outer vallum, existed as a postern 
before the Conquest.^ Nearly all the towers on this 
wall were supported by certain manors held on the 
tenure of castle-guard, and eight of them still retain the 
names of eight knights to whom William is said to have 
oriven lands on this tenure. Mr Round has shown that 
the Warda Constabularii of Dover Castle can be traced 
back to the Conquest, and that it is a mere legend that 
it was given as a fief to a Fienes. He remarks that the 
nine wards of the castle named in the Red Book of the 
Exchequer are all reproduced in the names still attached 
to the towers. " This coincidence of testimony leads us 
to believe that the names must have been attached at a 
very early period ; and looking at the history of the 
families named, it cannot have been later than that of 
Henry H."^ May it not have been even earlier? 
Eight of these names are attached to towers on the 
outer circuit,^ and five of them are found as landholders 
in Kent in Domesday Book. 

4. William of Poitiers further tells us that when the 
duke had taken the castle, he remained there eight days, 
to add the fortifications which were wanting} What 
was wanting to a Norman eye in Anglo-Saxon fortifica- 
tions, as far as we know them, was a citadel ; and 
without laying too much stress on the chronicler's eight 
days, we may assume that the short time spent by 
William at Dover was just enough for the construction 
of a motte and bailey, inside the castrum of Harold, but 
crowned by wooden buildings only. 

^ Cited by Statham, History of Dover^ pp. 265, 313. 

^ Commune of London^ pp. 278-81. 

"^ The ninth name, Maminot, is attached to three towers on the curtain 
of the keep ward. 

^ " Recepto castro, quai minus erant per dies octo addidit firmamenta." 
P. 140. 



142 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Taking these things together, we venture to assume 
that the inner court in which the keep of Dover stands, 
represents an original motte, or at any rate an original 
citadel, added to the castle by William L Whether 
what now remains of this motte is in part artificial, we 
do not pretend to say ; It may be that it was formed 
simply by digging a deep ditch round the highest knoll 
of ground within the ancient ramparts/ Anyhow, it 
is still in effect a motte, and a large one, containing not 
only the magnificent keep, but a small ward as well. 
That this keep was the work of Henry IL there can 
be no manner of doubt ; the Pipe Rolls show that he 
spent more than ^2000 on the turris or keep of Dover 
Castle between the years 1181 and 1187, and Benedict 
of Peterborough mentions the building of the keep at 
this date." The curtain around the motte may also be 
reckoned to be his work originally, as the cmgulunt is 
spoken of along with the turris in the accounts. 
Modern alterations have left little of Norman character 
in this curtain which shows at a glance, and the gate- 
ways (one of which remains) belong to a later period. 

Attached to this keep ward Is another ward, whose 
rampart is generally attributed to Saxon times. We 
are not in a position positively to deny that the Saxons 
had an inner earthwork on the highest part of the 
ground within their btwh. But considering that small 
citadels are unusual in Saxon earthworks : considering 
also that this bailey is attached to the motte in the 

^ Lyon says : " The keep [hill] was formed of chalk dug out of the interior 
hill. Cited by Statham, p. 245. 

2 "Per praeceptum regis facta est apud Doveram turris fortissima." II. 
8, R. S., anno 1187. The Historia Fundationis of St Martin's Abbey says 
that Henry II. built the high tower in the castle, and enclosed the donjon 
with new walls : " fit le haut tour en le chastel, et enclost le dongon de 
nouelx murs." M. A.^ iv., 533. 



ill 



DOVER 143 

usual manner of a Norman bailey, and that its size 
corresponds to the usual size of an original Norman 
bailey In an important place, it does not seem unreason- 
able to suppose that this was the original bailey attached 
to the Conqueror's motte. Its shape is singular, part 
of It being nearly square, while at the S.E. corner a 
large oval loop is thrown out, so as to enclose the 
Roman Pharos and the Saxon church. The outline of 
the bailey certainly suggests that it was built after the 
Pharos and the church, and was built with reference 
primarily to the keep or motte ward. The nature of 
the ground, and the necessity of enclosing the church 
and the Roman tower within the immediate bailey of 
the castle, which would otherwise have been commanded 
by them, were the other factors which decided the 
unusual shape of the bailey. 

On this earthwork the foundations of a rubble wall 
were formerly to be traced,^ probably built by Henry 
II., as considerable sums for "the wall of the castle" 
are mentioned in his accounts.^ Whether there are still 
any remains of this curtain we are unable to say, but so 
many of the features of the middle ward have been 
swept away by modern alterations, and the difficulty of 
examining what remains, owing to military restrictions, 
is so great, that little can be said about it, and we find 
that most authorities observe a judicious silence on the 
subject. But as the carriage of stone is expressly 
mentioned in Henry II.'s accounts, we may with great 
probability assign to him the transformation of the 
original wooden castle of William into a castle of stone ; 
while the transformation of the Anorlo-Saxon borough 

^ Puckle's Church and Fortress of Dover Castle^ p. 57. 
2 Pipe Rolls, 1178-80. "In operatione muri circa castellum de Doura, 
Jii6s, 13s. 4d. The same, ^{^94, 7s. id." 



144 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

into a stone enceinte was the work of Henry IIL's 
reign. 

We think the evidence suggests that this burh or 
outer rampart was in existence when the Conqueror 
came to Dover, crowned in all probability with a 
stockade and towers of wood. It may possibly have 
been a British or even a Roman earthwork originally 
(though its outline does not suggest Roman work) ; or 
it may have been built by Harold as a city of refuge 
for the inhabitants of the port.^ The Saxon church 
which it encloses, and which has long been attributed 
to the earliest days of Saxon Christianity, is now 
pronounced by the best authorities to be comparatively 
late in the style.^ 

The size of the inner castle of Dover appears to be 
about 6 acres, reckoning the keep ward at 2, and 
the bailey at about 4. 

The value of the town of Dover had trebled at the 
time of the Survey, in spite of the burning of the town 
at William's first advent.^ 

Dudley, Staffordshire (Fig. 15). — William Fitz 
Ansculf held Dudley at the time of the Survey, '' and 
there is his castle."^ Mr Clark appears to accept the 
dubious tradition of a Saxon Dodda, who first built this 
castle in the 8th century, since he speaks of Dudley as 
*' a great English residence."^ This tradition, however, 
is not supported by Domesday Book, which shows 

^ Mr Statham thinks the port of Dover, though a Roman station, was 
unwalled till the 13th century, and gives evidence. History of Dover^ 
p. 56. 

- See Professor Baldwin Brown, "Statistics of Saxon Churches" in the 
Builder^ 20th October 1900 ; and in The Arts in Early England^ ii., 338. 

3 D. B., i., I. 

* Istedem Willelmus tenet Dudelei, et ibi est castellum ejus. T. R. E. 
valebat 4 libras, modo 3 libras." D, B., i., 177. 

^ M. M. A., h, 24. 



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[Toface2->. 144. 



DUDLEY— DUNSTER 145 

Dudley to have been only a small and unimportant 
manor before the Conquest. The strong position of the 
hill was no doubt the reason why the Norman placed 
his castle there. There Is no Norman masonry in the 
present ruins. The earliest work is that of the keep 
on the motte, a rectangular tower with round corner 
turrets, attributed by Mr W. St John Hope to about 
1320. The first castle was demolished by Henry H. in 
1175/ and an attempt to restore it in 1218 was strin- 
gently countermanded.^ The case of Dudley is one of 
those which proves that Henry H. destroyed some 
lawful castles in 1175 as well as the unlawful ones. In 
1264 a license to restore it was granted to Roger de 
Somery, in consideration of his devotion to the king's 
cause in the Barons' War.^ The whole area of the 
castle, including the motte, but not including the works 
at the base of the hill on which it stands, is if acres. 
The bailey is an irregular oval, following the hill top. 
Dudley is an Instance in which the value of the manor 
has gone down instead of up since the erection of the 
castle ; this may perhaps be laid to the account of the 
devastation caused through the Staffordshire insurrec- 
tion of 1069. 

DuNSTER, Somerset (Fig. 15). — Called Torre in 

Domesday Book. '* There William de Moion has his 

j castle.""* The motte here appears to be a natural rock 

or tor, whose summit has been levelled and its sides 

^ "Circa dies istos castellum de Huntinduna, de Waletuna, de Leger- 
cestria, et Grobi, de Stutesbers [Tutbury], de Dudeleia, de Tresc, et alia 
plura pariter corruerunt, in ultionem injuriarum quas domini castellorum 
regi patri frequenter intulerunt/"^ Diceto^ i., 404, R. S. 

' Close Rolls ^ i., 380. 
i ' Parker's History of Domestic Architecture, Licenses to Crenellate, 13th 
'Century, Part ii., p. 402. Godwin, " Notice of the Castle at Dudley," Arch. 
hum., XV., 47. 

' D. B, i, 95b. 

K 



146 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

scarped by art. About 80 feet below the top is a 
(roughly) half-moon bailey, itself a shelf on the side 
of the hill ; there is another and much smaller shelf 
at the opposite end.^ Some foundations found in the 
S.W. corner of the upper ward appear to indicate a 
former stone keep.^ Dunster was only a small manor of 
half a hide before the Conquest, but afterwards its value 
tripled. There was a borough as well as a castle.^ 
The castle became the caput baronice of the De Moions, 
to whom the Conqueror gave fifty-six manors in 
different parts of the county. There is not the slightest 
reason to suppose that the site was fortified before the 
Conquest. Mr Clark remarks that '' it is remarkable 
that no mouldings or fragments of Norman ornament 
have been dug up in or about the site, although there is 
original Norman work in the parish church." The 
simple explanation, probably, is that the first castle of 
De Moion was of w^ood, although on a site where it 
would have been possible to build in stone from the 
first, as it does not appear that any part of the motte is 
artificial. The area of the bailey is if acres. The 
value of Dunster had risen at the date of Domesday.^ 

Durham (Fig. 16). — The castle here was first 
built by the Conqueror, on his return from his expedi- 
tion against Scotland in 1072.^ It was intended as a 
strong residence for the bishop, through whom William 

1 Narrow terraces of this kind are found in several mottes, such as Mere, 
in Wilts. They are probably natural, and may have been utilised as part of 
the plan. The more regular terraces winding round the motte are generally 
found where the motte has become part of a pleasure-ground in later times. 

- This is the only case in which I have had to trust to Mr Clark for the^ 
description of a castle. M. M. A., ii., 24. H 

3 Mentioned in Close Rolls^ i., 518a. ^ D. B., i., 95b. 

^ Symeon of Durham, 1072. " Eodem tempore, scilicet quo rex reversus Ij 
de Scotia fuerat, in Dunelmo castellum condidit, ubi se cum suis episcopusjp 
tute ab incursantibus habere potuisset." i 




Durham. 



Fig. i6. 



[To face p. 146. 



I DURHAM 147 

hoped to govern this turbulent part of the country. 
He placed it on the neck of the lofty peninsula on which 
the cathedral stands. The motte of the Conqueror still 
remains, and so does the chapel ^ which he built in the 
bailey ; probably the present court of the castle, though 
crowded now with buildings, represents the outline of 
the original bailey.^ The present shell keep on the 
motte was built by Bishop Hatfield in Edward HI.'s 
reign,^ but has been extensively modernised. There 
can be little doubt that up to 1345 there were only 
wooden buildings on the motte, as the writer was 
informed by Canon Greenwell that no remains of older 
stone- work than the 14th century had been found there. 
It is so seldom that we get any contemporary descrip- 
tion of a castle, of this kind, that it seems worth while 
to translate the bombastic verse in which Laurence, 
Prior of Durham, described that of Durham in 
Stephen's reign : * 

" Not far hence [from the north road into the city] 
a tumulus of rising earth explains the flatness of the 
excavated summit, explains the narrow field on the 
flattened vertex, which the apex of the castle occupies 
with very pleasing art. On this open space the castle 
is seated like a queen ; from its threatening height, it 
holds all that it sees as its own. From its gate, the 
stubborn wall rises with the rising mound, ^ and rising 
still further, makes towards the comfort (amaena) of the 
keep. But the keep, compacted together, rises again 

* This chapel is an instance of the honour so frequently done to the 
chapel, which was in many cases built of stone when the rest of the castle 
was only of timber, and was always the part most lavishly decorated. 
^ The bailey was twice enlarged by Bishops Flambard and Pudsey. 
^ Surtees, Durham, iv., 33. * Surtees Society, xx., 11-13. 

^' Evidently the southern wing wall up the motte ; but we need not suppose 
if mums to mean a stone wall. 



148 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

into thin air, strong within and without, well fitted for 
its work, for within the ground rises higher by three 
cubits than without — ground made sound by solid earth. 
Above this, a stalwart house ^ springs yet higher than 
the [shell] keep, glittering with splendid beauty in 
every part ; four posts are plain, on which it rests, one 
post at each strong corner} Each face is girded by a 
beautiful gallery, which is fixed into the warlike wall.^ 
A bridge, rising from the chapel [in the bailey] gives 
a ready ascent to the ramparts, easy to climb ; starting 
from them, a broad way makes the round of the top of 
the wall, and this is the usual way to the top of the 
citadel. . . . The bridge is divided into easy steps, no 
headlong drop, but an easy slope from the top to the 
bottom. Near the [head of the] bridge, a wall descends 
from the citadel, turning its face westward towards the 
river.^ From the river's lofty bank it turns away in a 
broad curve to meet the field \i.e., Palace Green]. It 
is no bare plot empty of buildings that this high wall 
surrounds with its sweep, but one containing goodly 
habitations.^ There you will find two vast palaces built 
with porches, the skill of whose builders the building 

^ Domus, a word always used for a habitation in mediaeval documents, 
and often applied to a tower, which it evidently means here. 

^ This is the only indication which Lawrence gives that the keep was of 
wood. 

' " Cingitur et pulchra paries sibi quilibet ala, 
Omnis et in muro desinit ala fero." 

The translation is conjectural, but gallery seems to make the best sense, 
and the allusion probably is to the wooden galleries, or hourdes, which 
defended the walls. 

^ Evidently the northern wing wall. 

^ This is the bailey ; the two vast palaces must mean the hall and the 
lodgings of the men-at-arms, who did not share the bishop's dwelling in the 
keep. These were probably all of wood, as the buildings of Durham Castle 
were burnt at the beginning of Pudsey's episcopate (1153) and restored by 
him. Surtees Society, ix., 12. 



DURHAM— ELY 149 

well reveals. There, too, the chapel stands out beauti- 
fully raised on six pillars, not over vast, but fair enough 
to view. Here chambers are joined to chambers, house 
to house, each suited to the purpose that it serves. . . . 
There is a building in the middle of the castle which 
has a deep well of abundant water. . . . The frowning 
gate faces the rainy south, a gate that is strong, high- 
reaching, easily held by the hand of a weakling or a 
woman. The bridge is let down for egress,^ and thus 
the way goes across the broad moat. It goes to the 
plain which is protected on all sides by a wall, where the 
youth often held their joyous games. Thus the 
castellan, and the castle artfully placed on the high 
ridge, defend the northern side of the cathedral. And 
from this castle a strong wall goes down southwards, 
continued to the end of the church." ^ 

The original bailey of this castle covers i acre. 

Ely, Cambridgeshire (Fig. 17). — This castle was 
built by William I. in 1070, when he was repressing the 
last struggle of the English under the heroic Hereward. 
The monks of Ely felt it a sore grievance that he placed 
the castle within their own bounds.^ Both this castle 
and the one built by William at Aldreth, to defend the 
passage into the Isle of Ely, had a continuous existence, 
as they were both refortified by Nigel, Bishop of Ely in 
Stephen's reign, and Ely Castle was besieged and taken 
by Stephen.* The earthworks of this castle still exist, 
to the south of the Minster. There is a fine motte with 

^ " Hujus in egressu pons stemitur." This seems a probable allusion to 
a drawbridge, but if so, it is an early one. 

- This describes the addition to the bailey made by Flambard. The 
part of the peninsula to the S. of the church was afterwards walled in 
by Pudsey, and called the South Bailey. 

^ Liber Eliensts, ii., 245 (Anglia Christiana). The part cited was written 
early in the 12th century : see Preface. 

* Stowe's Annals^ 145, i. 



150 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

an oval bailey, of which the banks and ditches are 
traceable in parts. The area of the bailey is 2^ acres. 
Of Aldreth or Aldrey there appear to be no remains. 

The value of the manor of Ely was £^^ in the 
Confessor's reign ; it fell to ^20 after the devastations 
of the Conquest, but had risen again to ^30 at the time 
of the Survey.^ 

EwiAS, Herefordshire (Fig. 17). — The brief notice of 
this castle in Domesday Book throws some light on the 
general theory of castle-building in England.^ William 
FitzOsbern, as the king's vicegerent, rebuilt this march 
castle, and committed it to the keeping of another 
Norman noble, and the king confirmed the arrangement. 
But in theory the castle would always be the king's. 
This is the only case in the Survey where we hear of a 
castle being 7'ebuilt by the Normans. We naturally look 
to one of King Edward's Norman favourites as the first 
founder, for they alone are said by history to have built 
castles on the Welsh marches before the Conquest. 
Dr Round conjectures that Ewlas was the ** Pentecost's 
castle" spoken of In the (Peterborough) Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle In 1052.^ No masonry Is now to be seen 
on the motte at Ewlas, but Mr Clark states that the 
outline of a circular or polygonal shell keep is shown by 

1 D. B., ii., 192. 

2 "Alured de Merleberge tenet castellum de Ewias de Willelmo rege. 
Ipse rex enim concessit ei terras quas Willelmus comes ei dederat, qui hoc 
castellum refirmaverat, hoc est, 5 carucatas terrae ibidem. . . . Hoc castellum 
valet 10/." D. B., i., i86a. As there is no statement of the value in King 
Edward's day, we cannot tell whether it had risen or fallen. 

"^ Feudal England^ p. 324. The present writer was led independently to 
the same conclusion. Pentecost was the nickname of Osbern, son of 
Richard Scrob, one of Edward's Norman favourites, to whom he had given 
estates in Herefordshire. Osbern fled to Scotland in 1052, but he seems to 
have returned, and was still holding lands in " the castelry of Ewias " at the 
time of the Survey, though his nephew Alured held the castle. See Freeman, 
N. C, ii., 345, and Florence of Worcester^ 1052. 




Ely, Cambs. 



O (OO 200 300 




.. 30O 



EwiAS Harold, Hereford. 




Eye, Suffolk. 



Fig. 17. 



[To face 1). 150. 



EXETER 151 

a trench out of which the foundations have been removed. 
The bailey is roughly of half-moon shape and the mound . 
oval. The whole area of the castle, including the motte 
and banks, is 2^ acres. 

Exeter. — This castle is not mentioned in Domesday 
Book, but Ordericus tells us that William c/iose a 
site for the castle within the walls, and left Baldwin 
de Molis, son of Count Gilbert, and other distin- 
guished knights, to finish the work, and remain as 
a garrison.^ In spite of this clear Indication that the 
castle was a new thing, it has been obstinately held that 
it only occupied the site of some former castle, Roman 
or Saxon.^ Exeter, of course, was a Roman castrum, 
and its walls had been restored by Athelstan. In this 
case William placed his castle inside instead of outside 
the city walls, because, owing to the natural situation of 
Exeter, he found in the north-west corner a site which 
commanded the whole city. Although Domesday Book 
is silent about the castle, It tells us that forty-eight 
houses in Exeter had been destroyed since William 
came to England,^ and Freeman remarks that *'we may 
assume that these houses were destroyed to make room 
for the castle, though it is not expressly said that they 
were. 

Exeter Castle stands on a natural knoll, occupying 
the north-west corner of the city, which has been 

1 Locum vero intra moenia ad extruendum castellum delegit, ibique 
Baldwinum de Molis, filium Gisleberti comitis, aliosque milites prsecipuos 
reliquit, qui necessarium opus conficerent, prassidioque manerunt." Ordericus, 
ii., 181. 

'^ Exeter is one of the few cities where a tradition has been preserved of 
the site of the Saxon royal residence, which places it in what is now Paul 
Street, far away from the present castle. Shorrt's Sylva Antiqiia Iscana, 
p. 7. 

^ " In hac civitate vastatae sunt 48 domi postquam rex venit in Angliam." 
D. B., i., 100. "* Norman Conquest^ iv., 162. 



152 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

converted into a sort of square motte by digging a great 
ditch round the two sides of its base towards the town/ 
That this ditch is no pre-Roman work is shown by the 
fact that it stops short at the Roman wall, and begins 
again on the outside of it, where, however, the greater 
part has been levelled to form the promenade of the 
Northernhay or north rampart of the city. On top of 
this hill, banks 30 feet high were thrown up, which still 
remain, and give to the courtyard which they enclose 
the appearance of a pit.^ On top of these banks there 
are now stone walls ; but these were certainly no part 
of the work of Baldwin de Molis, who must have placed 
a wooden stockade on the banks which he constructed. 
One piece of stonework he probably did set up, the 
gatehouse, which by its triangle-headed windows and 
its long-and-short work is almost certainly of the nth 
century. It has frequently been called Saxon, but 
more careful critics now regard it as ** work that must 
have been done, if not by Norman hands, at Norman 
bidding and on Norman design." ^ It was no uncommon 
thing at this early period to have gatehouses of stone 
to walls of earth and wood. Of these gatehouses 
Exeter is the most perfect and the most clearly stamped 
with antiquity. 

^ The outer ditch may have been of Roman origin, but in that case it 
must have been carried all round the city, and we are unable to find whether 
this was the case or not. The banks on the north and east sides must also 
have been of Roman origin, and if we rightly understand the statements of 
local antiquaries, the Roman city wall stood upon them, and has actually 
been found in situ^ cased with mediaeval rubble. Report of Devon 
Association^ 1895. 

'•^ This resemblance to a pit may be seen in every motte which still retains 
its ancient earthen breast-work, as at Castle Levington, Burton in Lonsdale, 
and Castlehaugh, Gisburne. Perhaps this is the reason that we so frequently 
read in the Pipe Rolls of " the houses in the motte " (domos in Mota) instead 
oion the motte. Devizes Castle is another and still more striking instance. 

' Professor Baldwin Brown, The Arts in Early England^ ii., 82. 



I 



EXETER 153 

One thing we look for in vain at Exeter, and that is 
a citadel. There is no keep, and there is no record that 
there ever was one, though a chapel, hall, and other 
houses are mentioned in ancient accounts. Mr Clark 
says that probably the Normans regarded the whole 
court as a shell keep. It certainly was, in effect, a 
motte ; but it was altogether exceptional among Norman 
castles of importance if it had no bailey. And in fact a 
bailey is mentioned in the Pipe Roll of i Richard I., 
where there is an entry for the cost of making a gaol in 
the bailey of the castle.^ Now Norden, who published 
a plan of Exeter in 1619, says that the prison which 
formerly existed at the bottom of Castle Lane (on the 
south or city front of the present castle j was '* built upon 
Castle grounde," and he states that the buildings and 
gardens which have been made on this ground are 
intrusions on the king's rights.^ The remarkably full 
account of the siege of Exeter in the Gesta Stephani 
speaks of an outer proinurale which was taken by 
Stephen, as well as the inner bridge leading from the 
town to the castle, before the attack on the castle itself. 
Unfortunately the word promurale has the same un- 
certainty about it that attaches to so many mediaeval 
terms, and the description given of it would apply 
either to the banks of a bailey, or to the herigon 
on the counterscarp of the ditch of the motte. We 
must, therefore, leave it to the reader's judgment 
whether the evidence given above is sufficient to 
establish the former existence of a bailey at Exeter, 
and to place Exeter among the castles of the motte- 
and-bailey type. 

The description of the castle given by the writer of 

^ " In custamento gaiole in ballia castelli, £\6^ 15s. 8d." 

"^ Cited by Dr Oliver, "The Castle of Exeter," in Arch. Journ.^ vii., 128. 



154 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS LN ENGLAND 

the Gesta has many points of interest.^ He describes 
the castle as standing on a very high mound (editissimo 
ciggere) hedged in by an insurmountable wall, which 
was defended by "Caesarian" towers built with the very 
hardest mortar. This must refer to Roman towers 
which may have existed on the Roman part of the wall. 
Whether there was a stone wall on the other two sides, 
facing the city, may be doubted, as the expenditure 
entered to Henry H. In the Pipe Rolls suggests that he 
was the first to put stone walls on the banks, and the 
two ancient towers which still exist appear to be of his 
time.^ The chronicler goes on to say that after Stephen 
had taken the promurale and broken down the bridge, 
there were several days and nights of fighting before he 
could win the castle, which was eventually forced to 
surrender by the drying-up of the wells. The mining 
operations which he describes were no doubt undertaken 
with the view of shaking down the Roman wall at the 
angle where it joins the artificial bank of Baldwin de 
Molls. Possibly the chamber in the rock with the 
mysterious passages leading from it, which is still to be 

1 The whole of this passage is worth quoting : " Castellum in ea situm, 
editissimo aggere sublatum, muro inexpugnabile obseptum, turribus 
Cassarianis inseissili calce confectis firmatum. Agmine peditum instructis- 
sime armato exterius promurale, quod ad castellum muniendum aggere 
cumulatissimo in altum sustoUebatur, expulsis constanter hostibus suscepit, 
pontemque interiorem, quo ad urbem de castello incessus protendebatur, 
viriliter infregit, lignorumque ingentia artificia, quibus de muro pugnare 
intentibus resisteretur, mire et artificiose exaltavit. Die etiam et noctu 
graviter et intente obsidionem clausis inferre ; nunc cum armatis aggerem 
incessu quadrupede conscendentibus rixam pugnacem secum committere ; 
nunc cum innumeris fundatoribus, qui e diverso conducti fuerunt, intolerabile 
eos lapidum grandine infestare ; aliquando autem ascitis eis, qui massae 
subterran^ cautius norunt venus incidere, ad murum diruendum viscera 
terras scutari proscipere : nonnunquam etiam machinas diversi generis, alias 
in altum sublatis, alias humo tenus depressas, istas ad inspiciendam quidnam 
rerum in castello gereretur, illas ad murum quassandum vel obruendum 
aptare." Gesta Stepha7ii^ R. S., 23. 

2 Pipe Rolls, 1 1 69- 1 186. 



EXETER— EYE 155 

seen In the garden of Miss Owthwaite, at the point 
where the ditch ends, is the work of Stephen's miners/ 
The description of his soldiers scrambHng up the agger 
on their hands and knees [quadncpede mcessu) will be 
well understood by those who have seen the castle bank 
as it still rises from that ditch. 

The present ward of Exeter Castle, which is rudely 
square in plan, covers an area of 2 acres, which is as 
large as the whole area of many of the smaller Norman 
castles. The castle was allowed to fall into decay as 
early as 1549,^ and since then it has been devastated by 
the building of a Sessions House and a gaol. No plan 
has been preserved of the former buildings in this court, 
though the site of the chapel is known. 

There is no statement in Domesday Book as to the 
value of Exeter. 

Eye, Suffolk (Fig. 17). — This castle was built by 
William Malet, one of the companions of the Conqueror, 
who is described as having been half Norman and half 
English.^ Eye, as its name implies, seems to have 
been an island in a marsh in Norman times, and there- 
fore a naturally defensible situation. The references in 
the Pz^e Rolls to \}\^ palicmm and the bretasches of Eye 
Castle show that the outer defences of the castle at any 
rate w^ere of wood in the days of Henry H.^ That 

^ The difficulty about this, however, is that passages branch off from the 
central cave in every direction. 

2 diverts History of Exeter^ p. 186. 

^ [VVillelmus Malet] fecit suum castellum ad Eiam. D. B., ii., 379. For 
Malet, see Freeman, N. C, 466, note 4. 

■* " In operatione castelli de Eya et reparatione veterarum bretascharum 
et 2 novarum bretascharum et fossatorum et pro carriagio et petra et aliis 
minutis operationibus 20/. i8j. ^d. Pipe Rolls, xix., 19 Henry II. The 
ji small quantity of stone referred to here can only be for some auxiliary 
work. The bretasches in this case will be mural towers of wood. "In 
emendatione palicii et i exclusas vivarii et domorum castelli 20s." 28 
Henry II. 



156 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

there were works in masonry at some subsequent period 
is shown by a solitary vestige of a wing wall of flints 
which runs up the motte. A modern tower now 
occupies the summit. The bailey of the castle, the 
outline of which can still be traced, though the area is 
covered with buildings and gardens, was oval in shape, 
and covered 2 acres. 

The value of the manor of Eye had gone up since the 
Conquest from £1^ to ^21. This must have been due to 
the castle and to the market which Robert Malet or his 
son William established close to the castle ; for the stock 
on the manor and the number of ploughs had actually 
decreased/ A proof that there is no deliberate register 
of castles in Domesday Book is furnished by the very 
careful inventory of the manor of Eye, where there is no 
mention of a castle, though it is noticed that there are 
now a park and a market ; and it is only in the account 
of the lands of the bishop of Thetford, in mentioning 
the injury which William Malet's market at Eye had 
done to the bishop's market at Hoxne, that the castle of 
Eye is named. 

Gloucester. — " There were sixteen houses where 
the castle sits, but now they are gone, and fourteen have 
been destroyed in the burgus of the city," says Domes- 
day Book.^ Gloucester was undoubtedly a Roman 
Chester, and Roman pavements have been found there.^ 
The description in the Survey would lead us to think 
that the castle was outside the ancient walls/ though 

^ D. B., ii., 319, 320. 

2 D. B., i., 162. "Sedecim domus erant ubi sedet castellum, qu^ modo i 
desunt, et in burgo civitatis sunt vvastatse 14 domus." 

^ Rudge, History of Gloucester, p. 7. Haverfield, Romanisation of \ 
Britain, p. 204. 

* It is, however, possible that by the burgus may be meant a later 
quarter which had been added to the city. 



GLOUCESTER 157 

Speed's map places it on the line of the wall of his time, 
which may have been a mediaeval extension. The castle 
of Gloucester is now entirely destroyed, but there is 
sufficient evidence to show that it was of the usual 
Norman type. There was a motte, which was standing 
in 1819, and which was then called the Barbican Hill ; ^ 
it appears to have been utilised as part of the works of 
the barbican. This motte must originally have 
supported a wooden keep, and Henry I. must have been 
the builder of the stone keep which Leland saw '' in the 
middle of the area ; " ^ for in 1 100 Henry gave lands to 
Gloucester Abbey " in exchange for the site where now 
the keep of Gloucester stands."^ The bailey had 
previously been enlarged by William Rufus.^ Possibly 
the framea turris or framework tower spoken of in 
Henry H.'s reign may refer to the wooden keep which 
had been left standing on the motte.^ The walls of 
Gloucester Castle were frequently repaired by Henry H.,^ 
but the word nturtis by no means implies always a stone 
wall, and it is certain that the castle was at that time 
surrounded by a wooden stockade, as a writ of a much 
later period (1225) says that the stockade which is 
around our castle of Gloucester has been blown down 



^ Fosbroke's History of Gloucester, pp. 125, 126. Stukeley, writing in 
172 1, says : " There is a large old gatehouse standing, and near it the castle, 
with a very high artificial mount or keep nigh the river." Itin. Cur., i., 69. 

^ "Of al partes of yt the hy tower in ?nedia area is most strongest and 
auncient." Leland, Itin., iii., 64. 

^ In excambium pro placea ubi nunc turris stat Gloucestrias, ubi 
quondam fuit ortus monachorum." Man. Ang., i., 544. The document is 
not earlier than Henry II. 's reign. 

'* Round, Studies in Domesday, p. 123. 

^ " In operatione frame turris de Glouec, 20/. Pipe Roils, i., 27. In the 
single Pipe Roll of Henry I. there is an entry " In operationibus turris de 
Glouec," 7/. 6s. 2d., which may be one of a series of sums spent on the new 
stone keep. 

° Pipe Rolls, 1 177, 1 1 80, 1 181, 1 184. 



158 CASTLES OF THE NORMx\NS IN ENGLAND 

and broken by the wind, and must be repaired.^ 
Wooden bretasches on the walls are spoken of in the 
Pipe Rolls of 1 193, and even as late as 1222.^ 

The value of the city of Gloucester had apparently 
risen at the time of the Survey, though the entry being 
largely in kind, T. R. E., it is not easy to calculate. 

Hastings, Sussex (Fig. 18). — In this case we have 
positive contemporary evidence that the earthen mound 
of the castle was thrown up by the Normans at the time 
of the Conquest, for there is a picture in the Bayeux 
Tapestry which shows them doing it. A number of 
men with spades are at work raising a circular mound, 
on the top of which, with the usual all-inclusiveness of 
mediaeval picturing, a stockade is already erected. A 
man with a pick seems to be working at the ditch. The 
inscription attached is : '' He commands that a castle 
be dug at Hestengaceastra." ^ There is no need to 
comment on the significance of this drawing and its 
inscription for the history of early Norman castles ; 
what is extraordinary is that it should have been entirely 
overlooked for so long. In no case is our information 
more complete than about Hastings. Not only does 
Domesday Book mention the castellaria of Hastings,^ 
but the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also tells us that 
William built a castle there, while the chronicle of Battle 
Abbey makes the evidence complete by telling us that 
*' having taken possession of a suitable site, he built 
a wooden castle there." ^ This of course means the 

^ Close Rolls, ii., 88b. 

2 " In reparatione murorum et bretaschiarum," 20/. ']s. iid. Pipe Rolls, 
1 193. ^ "Jussit ut foderetur castellum ad Hestengaceastra." 

* D. B., i., i8a, 2. "Rex Willelmus dedit comiti [of Eu] castellariamde 
Hastinges." 

^ " Dux ibidem [at Pevensey] non diu moratus, baud longe situm, qui 
Hastinges vocatur, cum suis adiit portum, ibique opportunum n actus locum, 
ligneum agiliter castellum statuens, provide munivit." Ch?'on. Monast. de 



% 




Hastings, Scssex. 




HCXTIXGDON. 



Fig. i8. 



{To face ]h 158. 



tl 



HASTINGS 159 

stockade on top of the motte, with the wooden tower or 
towers which would certainly be added to It. Wace 
states that this wooden castle was brousfht over in 
pieces in the ships of the Count of Eu.^ 

The masonry now existing at the castle is probably 
none of It older than the reign of Henry II. at the 
earliest, and most of It is certainly much later." The 
pipe Rolls show that Henry II. spent ^235 on the 
castle of Hastings between the years 11 60 and 1181, and 
it is indicated that some of this money was for stone, 
and some was for a keep (titrrini)^^ There Is no tower 
large enough for a keep at Hastings now, nor have any 
stone foundations been found on the motte, and Mr 
Harold Sands, who has paid particular attention to this 
castle, concludes that Henry II.'s keep has been carried 
away by the sea, which has probably torn away at least 
2 acres from the area of the castle."* The beautiful 

Bello, p. 3, ed. 1846. There is also the evidence of Ordericus, who says that 
Humphrey de Tilleul received the custody of Hastings Castle "from the first 
day it was built." iv., 4. 

^ Par conseil firent esgarder 

Boen lieu a fort chastel fermer. 

Done ont des nes mairrien iete, 

A la terre I'ont traine, 

Que le quens d'Ou i out porte 

Trestot percie e tot dole. 

Les cheuilles totes dolees 

Orent en granz bariz portees. 

Ainz que il fust avespre 

En ont un chastelet ferme ; 

Environ firent une fosse, 

Si i ont fait grant fermete. — Andresen's edition, p. 289. 

- The north curtain is of ruder work than the other masonry. 

^ In attractu petre et calcis ad faciendam turrim de Hasting 61. Idem 
13/. 12s. Vol. xviii., p. 130. The work must have been extensive, as it is 
spoken of as " operatio castelli novi Hasting." 1 1 8 1 - 1 1 82. Though the sum 
given is not sufficient for a great stone keep, it may have been supplemented 
from other sources. 

* See Mr Sands' paper on Hasting's Castle, in Trans, of the South- 
Eastern Union of Scientific Societies.^ 1908. 



160 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

fragment of the Chapel of St Mary is probably of 
Henry IL's reign; the walls and towers on the 
east side of the castle appear to be of the 13th century. 
The ditch does not run round the motte, but is 
cut through the peninsular rock on which the castle 
stands, the motte and its ward being thus isolated. 
The form of this bailey is now triangular, but it 
may have been square originally. Beyond the ditch 
is another bailey, defended by earthen banks and by 
a second ditch cut through the peninsula.^ No exact 
estimate can be given of the original area of the 
castle, as so much of the cliff has been carried away 
by the sea. 

Hastings itself had been a fortified town before the 
Norman Conquest, and is one of those mentioned in the 
Burghal Hidage. The name Haestingaceaster, given to 
it in the A^iglo-Saxon Chronicle (1050), is a proof that 
the Saxons used the name chester for constructions of 
their own, as no Roman remains have been found at 
Hastings. But the Norman castle is outside the town, 
on a cliff which overlooks it. As in the case of the other 
ports of Sussex, the castle was committed to an 
important noble, in this case the Count of Eu. 

The manor of Bexley, in which Hastings Castle 
stood, had been laid waste at the Conquest ; at the date 
of the Survey it was again rising in value, though it had 
not reached the figure of King Edward's days.^ 

^ This bailey has been supposed to be a British or Roman earthwork, 
but no evidence has been brought forward to prove it, except the fact that 
discoveries made in one of the banks point to a flint workshop on the site. 

2 Totum manerium valebat T. R. E. 20 hbras, et postea wastum fuit. 
Modo 18 libras 10 solidos. D. B., i. , i8a, 2. 

Since the above was written, Mr Chas. Dawson's large and important 
work on Hastings Castle has appeared, and to this the reader is referred for 
many important particulars, especially the passages from the Pipe Rolls^ i., 
56, and the repeated destructions by the sea, ii., 498-9. The reproduction of 



\ 



HEREFORD 161 

Hereford. — There can be little doubt that the castle 
of Hereford was built by the Norman Ralph, Earl of 
Hereford, Edward the Confessor's nephew, about the 
year 1048/ It was burnt by the Welsh in 1055, after 
which Harold fortified the town with a dyke and ditch ; 
but as Mr Freeman remarks, it is not said that he 
restored the castle.* The motte of Earl Ralph is now 
completely levelled, but it is mentioned several times in 
documents of the 12th century,^ and is described in a 
survey of 1652, from which it appears that it had a stone 
keep tower, as well as a stone breastwork enclosing a 
small ward.* It stood outside the N.W. corner of 
the bailey, surrounded by its own ditch ; the site is still 
called Castle Hill. If the castle was not restored before 
the Norman Conquest it was certainly restored after- 
wards, as in 1067 we find the "men of the castle" 
fighting with Edric Child and the Welsh. The castle 
appears to have had stone walls by the time of Henry II., 
as the mention of a kiln for their repair proves.^ But 
these walls had wooden towers.^ The timber ordered in 
1 2 13 ''ad hordlandum castellum nostrum de Hereford"^ 

Herbert's plan of 1824 (ii., 512) seems to show more than one bailey outside 
the inner ward. The evidence for a great outer ditch, enclosing all these 
works, and supposed to be prehistoric, is given on p. 515, vol. ii. 

^ See Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 1048 (Peterborough) and 1052 (Worcester), 
and compare with Florence of Worcester. 

2 N. C, ii., 394. 

3 Pipe Rolls, II Henry II., p. 100, and 15 Henry II., p. 140. Stephen 
granted to Miles of Gloucester " motam Hereford cum toto castello." Charter 
cited by Mr Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, Appendix O, p. 329. 

* Cited by Grose, Antiquities, ii., 18. Stukeley saw the motte, and 
mentions the well in it lined with stone. Itin. Curiosum, i., 71. See also 
Buncombe's History of Hereford, i., 229. 

^ In custamento prosternandi partem muri castri nostri de Hereford, et 
preparatione rogi ad reficiendum predictum murum, 26s. 6d. Pipe Rolls, 
I181-1182. 

* In operatione 5 bretaschiarum in castro de Hereford, £1^, 3s. gd. Pipe 
Rolls, II 73- 1 174. 

^ Close Rolls, i., 134a. 

L 



162 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

refers to the wooden ahires or machicolations which 
were placed on the tops of walls for the purpose of 
defending the bases. 

Though Hereford was a private castle in the 
Confessor's reign, it was claimed for the crown by 
Archbishop Hubert, the Justiciary, in 1197, and 
continued to be a royal castle throughout the 13th 
century.^ 

The bailey of Hereford Castle still exists, with its fine 
banks ; it is kite-shaped and encloses ^\ acres. The 
castle stood within the city walls, in the south-east 
angle. 

The value of Hereford appears to have greatly 
increased at the date of the Survey.^ 

Huntingdon (Fig. 18). — '' There were twenty houses 
on the site of the castle, which are now eone."^ 
Ordericus tells us that the castle of Huntingdon was 
built by William on his return from his second visit to 
York in 1068.^ Huntingdon had been a walled town in 
Anglo-Saxon times, and was very likely first fortified by 
the Danes, but was repaired by Edward the Elder. As 
in the case of so many other towns, the houses outside 
the walls had to pay geld along with those of the city, 
and it was some of the former which were displaced by 
the new Norman castle. Huntingdon was part of the j 
patrimony of Earl Waltheof, and came to the Norman, 
Simon de Senlis, through his marriage with Waltheofs 
daughter and heiress. The line of Senlis ended in 

1 Hubertus Cantuariensis Archiepiscopus et totius Angliae summus 
Justiciarius, fuit in Gwalia apud Hereford, et recepit in manu sua castellum 
de Hereford, et castellum de Briges, et castellum de Ludelaue, expulsis inde 
custodibus qui ea diu custodierant, et tradidit eaaliis custodibus, custodienda 
ad opus regis. Roger of How den^ iv., 35, R. S. 

' D. B, i, 179- 

2 " In loco castri fuerunt 20 mansiones, qu^ modo absunt." D. B., i., 203. | 
* Ordericus, ii., 185. 



HUNTINGDON 163 

another heiress, who married David, afterwards the 
famous king of Scotland ; David thus became Earl of 
Huntingdon. In the insurrection of the younger Henry 
in 1 1 74, William the Lion, grandson of David, took 
sides with the young king, and consequently his castle 
' was besieged and taken by the forces of Henry 11.,^ and 
the king ordered it to be destroyed. The Pipe Rolls 
show that this order was carried out, as they contain a 
bill for ''hooks for pulling down the stockade of 
Huntingdon Castle," and **for the work of the new 
castle at Huntingdon, and for hiring carpenters, and 
crooks, and axes."^ We learn from these entries that 
the original castle of the Conquest had just been replaced 
by a new one, very likely a new fortification of the old 
mounds by William, in anticipation of the insurrection. 
We also learn that the new castle was a wooden one ; 
for a castle which has to be pulled down by carpenters 
with hooks and axes is certainly not of stone. It does 
not appear that the castle was ever restored, though 
** the chapel of the castle " is spoken of as late as the 
reign of Henry 1 11.^ 

The motte of Huntingdon still exists, and has not 
the slightest sign of masonry. The bailey is roughly 
square, with the usual rounded corners ; the motte was 
inside this enclosure, but had its own ditch. The whole 
area was 2\ acres, but another bailey was subsequently 
dded. 

^ Benedict of Peterborough^ i., 70. The Justiciar, Richard de Lucy, 
new up a siege castle against it. 

^ "Pro uncis ad prosternandum palicium de Hunted, ']s. Zd. In 

>eratione novi castelli de Hunted, et pro locandis carpentariis et pro 

>ccis et securibus et aliis minutis rebus, 21/." Pipe Rolls, 20 Henry II., 

50, 63. It is clear that the operatio was in this case one of pulling down, 
riraldus {Vita Galfredi, iv., 368, R. S.) and Diceto (i., 404, R. S.), both say 
le castle^was destroyed. 

^ Man. Ang.y vi., 80. 



164 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

The value of Huntingdon appears to have been 
stationary at the time of the Survey, the loss of the 
twenty houses causing a diminution of revenue which 
must have been made up from the new feudal dues of 
the castle. 

Launceston, or Dunheved,^ Cornwall (Fig. 19). — 
There, says Domesday Book, is the castle of the Earl 
of Mortain.^ In another place It tells us that the earl 
gave two manors to the bishop of Exeter " for the 
exchange of the castle of Cornwall," another name for 
Dunheved Castle. We have already had occasion to 
note that the '* exchange of the castle," in Domesday 
language, Is an abbreviation for the exchange of the site 
of the castle. The fact that the land was obtained from 
the church is a proof that the castle was new, for it was 
not the custom of Saxon prelates thus to fortify them- 
selves. The motte of Launceston Is a knoll of natural 
rock, which has been scarped and heightened by art. 
This motte now carries a circular keep, which cannot be 
earlier than the 13th century.^ There Is no early 
Norman work whatever about the masonry of the castle, 
and the remarkably elaborate fortifications on the motte 
belong to a much later period.* The motte rises in one 
corner of a roughly rectangular bailey, which covers 
3 acres. It stands outside the town walls, which still 
exist, and join those of the castle, as at Totnes. 
Launceston was only a small manor of ten ploughs in 
the time of the Confessor. In spite of the building of 

^ Leland tells us that Launceston was anciently called Dunheved. Itin.^ 
vii., 122. 

2 "Ibi est castrum comitis." D. B., i,, 121b. "Haec duo maneria [Haw- 
stone et Botintone] dedit episcopo comes Moriton pro excambio castelli de 
Cornualia." D. B., i., loib, 2. 

^ There are no entries for Launceston except repairs in the reigns of 
Henry II. and his sons. 

* Murray's Guide to Cornwall^ p. 203. 




Lauxcestox, Cornwall. 




Lewfs, Sussex. 



Fig. 19. 



[To face 2^. 164. 



LEWES 165 

the castle, the value of the manor had greatly gone down 
In William's time.^ The ten ploughs had been reduced 
to five. 

Lewes, Sussex (Fig. 19). — The castle of Lewes is 
not mentioned in its proper place in Sussex by- 
Domesday Book, and this is another proof that the 
Survey contains no inventory of castles ; for that the 
castle was existing at that date is rendered certain by 
the numerous allusions in the Norfolk portion to '' the 
exchange of the castle of Lewes." ^ It is clear that at 
some period, possibly during the revolt of Robert 
Curthose in 1079, William I. gave large estates in 
Norfolk to his trusty servant, William de Warenne, in 
exchange for the important castle of Lewes, which he 
may have preferred to keep in his own hands at that 
critical period. This bargain cannot have held long, at 
least as regards the castle, which continued to belong to 
the Warenne family for many generations. We cannot 
even guess now how the matter was settled, but the 
lands in Norfolk certainly remained in the hands of the 
Warennes. 

Lewes is one of the very few castles in England 
which have two mottes.^ They were placed at each end 
of an oval bailey, each surrounded by its own ditch, and 
each projecting about three-fourths beyond the line of 
the bailey. On the northern motte only the foundations 

"Olim 20/. ; modo valet 4/." D. B., i., 121b. 
'^ D. B., ii., 157, 163, 172, The first entry relating to this transaction 
says : " Hoc totum est pro escangio de 2 maneriis Delaquis." The second 
says : " Pertinent ad castellum Delaquis." It is clear that Lewes is meant, 
as one paragraph is headed " De escangio Lewes." I have been unable to 
find any explanation of this exchange in any of the Norfolk topographers, 
or in any of the writers on Domesday Book. 

^ Lincoln is the only other instance known to the writer. Deganwy has 
two natural mottes. It is possible that two mottes indicate a double owner- 
ship of a castle, a thing of which there are instances, as at Rhuddlan. 



166 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

of a wall round the top remain; on the other, part of 
the wall which enclosed a small ward, and two mural 
towers. These towers have signs of the early Perpendi- 
cular period, and are very likely of the reign of Edward 
IIL, when the castle passed into the hands of the Fitz 
Alans. The bailey, which enclosed an area of about 
3 acres, is now covered with houses and gardens, 
but parts of the curtain wall on the S.E. and E. stand 
on banks, bearing witness to the original wooden fortifi- 
cations. The great interest of this bailey is its ancient 
Norman gateway. The entrance was regarded by 
mediaeval architects as the weakest part of the fortress, 
and we frequently find that it was the first part to 
receive stone defences.^ It is not surprising that at 
such an important place as Lewes, which was then a 
port leading to Normandy, and at the castle of so 
powerful a noble, we should find an early case of stone 
architecture supplementing the wooden defences. But 
the two artificial mottes have no masonry that can be 
called early Norman. 

Lewes is one of the boroughs mentioned in the 
Burghal Hidage, and was a burgus at the time of the 
Survey.^ The value of the town had increased by 
£\, 1 8s. from what it had been in King Edward's 
time. 

Lincoln (Fig. 20). — Domesday Book tells us that 
166 houses were destroyed to furnish the site of the 
castle.^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that William 
built a castle here on his return from his first visit to 

^ Exeter and Tickhill are instances of early Norman gateways, and at 
Ongar and Pieshy there are fragments of early gateways, though there are 
no walls on the banks. We have already seen that Arundel had a gateway 
which cannot be later than Henry I.'s time. ^ D. B., i., 26a, i. 

^ " De predictis wastis mansionibus propter castellum destructi fuerunt 
166." D. B., i., 336b, 2. 




Lincoln. 



Fig. 20. 



[To face 2). 166. 



LINCOLN 16? 

York in 1068, and Orderlcus makes the same statement/ 
Lincoln, like Exeter, was a Roman castrum, and the 
Norman castle in both cases was placed in one corner 
of the castrum ; but the old Roman wall of Lincoln, 
which stands on the natural ground, was not considered 
to be a sufficient defence on the two exterior sides, 
probably on account of its ruinous condition. It was 
therefore buried in a very high and steep bank, which 
was carried all round the new castle.^ This circumstance 
seems to point to the haste with which the castle was 
built, Lincoln being then for the first time subdued. The 
fact that it was inside the probably closely packed Roman 
walls explains why so many houses were destroyed for 
the castle.^ Lincoln, like Lewes, has two mottes : 
both are of about the same height, but the one in the 
middle of the southern line of defence is the larger and 
more important ; it was originally surrounded with its 
own ditch. It is now crowned with a polygonal shell 
wall, which may have been built by the mother of 
Ralph Gernon, Earl of Chester, in the reign of Henry I.* 
The tower on the other motte, at the south-east corner, 

1 " In reversione sua Lincolis, Huntendonae, et Grontebrugas castra 
locavit." Ordericus, 185 (Prevost). 

^ At present the bank is wanting on a portion of the south side, between 
the two mottes. 

^ Mr Clark gravely argues that the houses were inside what he believes 
to have been the Saxon castle. There is not a vestige of historical evidence 
for the existence of any castle in Lincoln in the Saxon period. 

^ Stephen gave Ralph the castle and city of Lincoln, and gave him leave 
to fortify one of the towers in Lincoln Castle, and have command of it until 
the king should deliver to him the castle of Tickhill ; then the king was to 
have the city and castle of Lincoln again, excepting the earl's own tower, 
which his mother had fortified. His mother was Lucy, daughter of Ivo 
Taillebois ; and as the principal tower was known as the Luce Tower, 
the masonry may have been her work. In that case the Norman work 
on the smaller motte may be due to Ralph Gernon, and may possibly be 
the nova turris which was repaired in John's reign. Pipe Roll^ 2 John. 
Stephen's charter is in Farrer's Lancashire Pipe Rolls. 



168 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

has been largely rebuilt In the 14th century and added 
to In modern times, but its lower storey still retains work 
of Norman character. There Is good reason to suppose 
that this bailey was first walled with stone in Richard 
L's reign, as there is an entry in the Pipe Rolls of 1193- 
1 194 " for the cost of fortifying the bailey, ^82, i6s. 4d." ^ 
The present wall contains a good deal of herring-bone 
w^ork, and this circumstance led Mr Clark, who was 
looking for something which he could put down to 
William L's time, to believe that the w^alls were of that 
date. But the herring-bone work is all in patches, as 
though for repairs, and herring-bone work was used 
for repairs at all epochs of mediaeval building. The 
two gateways (that is the Norman portions of them) are 
probably of about the same date as the castle wall. The 
whole area is 5f acres. 

The total revenue which the city of Lincoln paid 
to the king and the earl had gone up from 30/. T. R. E. 
to 100/. T. R. W. For the sake of those who imagine 
that Saxon halls had anything to do with mottes, it is 
worth noting that the hall which was the residence of 
the chief landholder in Lincoln before the Conquest was 
still in existence after the building of the castle, but 
evidently had no connection with it.^ 

Monmouth (Fig. 21). — Domesday Book says that 
the king has four ploughs in demesne in the castle of 

^ "In custamento firmandi ballium castelli Lincoll." Pipe Roll, 5 
Richard I. In an excavation made for repairs in modern times it was found 
that this wall rested on a timber frame-work, a device to avoid settling, the 
wall being of^great height and thickness. Wilson, Lincoln Castle, Proc. 
Arch. Inst.., 1848. 

^ D. B., i. 336b, 2: "Tochi filius Outi habuit in civitate 30 mansiones 
praeter suam hallam, et duas ecclesias et dimidiam, et suam hallam habuit 
quietam ab omni consuetudine. . . . Hanc aulam tenuit Goisfredus Alselin 
et suus nepos Radulfus. Remigius episcopus tenet supradictas 30 mansiones 
ita quod Goisfredus nihil inde habet." 




/////7/// /. 



N. 






,.a#i 










^., 

/■// 



-^//ivv ^. ^,sov; 






Feet , 



MOXMOUTH. 



MoxTACUTE, Somerset. 




Morpeth, Xorthumberlakd. 



Fig. 21. 



[To face p. 168. 



MONMOUTH— MONTACUTE 169 

Monmouth.^ Dr Round regards this as one of the 
cases where castellum is to be interpreted as a town and 
not as a castle. However this may be, the existence 
of a Norman castle at Monmouth is rendered certain 
by a passage in the Book of Llandaff, in which it is 
said that this castle was built by William FitzOsbern, 
and a short history of it is given, which brings it up to 
the days of William Fitz Baderun.^ Speed speaks of 
this castle as ''standing mounted round in compasse, 
and within her walls another mount, whereon a Towre 
of great height and strength is built." ^ This sounds 
like the description of a motte and bailey ; but the motte 
cannot be traced now. It is possible that it may have been 
swept away to build the present barracks ; the whole 
castle is now on a fiat-topped hill. The area is if acres.* 

The value of the manor before the Conquest is 
not given. 

MoNTACUTE, Somerset (Fig. 2j). — This is another 
instance of a site for a castle obtained by exchange 
from the church. Count Robert of Mortain gave the 
manor of Candel to the priory of Athelney in exchange 
for the manor of Bishopstowe, ''and there is his castle, 
which is called Montagud."^ The English name for 

^ " In castello Monemouth habet Rex in domlnio 4 carucas. Willelmus 
fiHus Baderon custodit eas. Quod rex habet in hoc castello valet c solidos." 
D. B., I Sob. 

^ Liber Landavenszs, Evans' edition, pp. 277-278. See also Round's 
Calendar of Documents Preserved in France^ p. 406. 

^ Theatre of Britain^ p. 107. 

* Speed's map shows the curtain wall surrounding the top of the hill 
and also a large round tower towards the N.E. part, but not standing on 
any "other mount." The square keep is not indicated separately. It must 
be remembered that Speed's details are not always accurate or complete. 

^ " Ipse comes tenet in dominio Bishopstowe, et ibi est castellum ejus 
quod vocatur Montagud. Hoc manerium geldabat T. R. E. pro 9 hidas, et 
erat de abbatia de Adelingi, et pro eo dedit comes eidem ecclesiae 
manerium quod Candel vocatur." D. B., i., 93a, i. 



% 



i 



170 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

the village at the foot of the hill was Ludgarsburh, 
which does not point to any fortification on the hill 
itself, the spot where the wonder-working crucifix of 
Waltham was found in Saxon times. Robert of 
Mortain's son William gave the castle of Montacute, 
with its chapel, orchard, and other appurtenances, to a 
priory of Cluniac monks which he founded close to it. 
The gift may have had something compulsory in it, for 
William of ]\Iortain was banished by Henry L in 1104 
as a partisan of Robert Curthose. Thus, as Leland 
says, " the notable castle partly fell to ruin, and partly was 
taken down to make the priory, so that many years 
since no building of it remained ; only a chapel was set 
upon the very top of the dungeon, and that yet standeth 
there." ^ There is still a high oval motte, having a 
ditch between its base and the bailey ; the latter is 
semilunar in shape. The hill has been much terraced 
on the eastern side, but this may have been the work 
of the monks, for purposes of cultivation.^ There is no 
masonry except a quite modern tower. According to 
Mr Clark, the motte is of natural rock. The French 
name of the castle was of course imported from 
Normandy, and w^e generally find that an English 
castle with a Norman-French name of this kind has a 
motte.^ 

Bishopstowe, in which the castle was placed, was 
not a large manor in Saxon times. Its value T. R. E. 
is not given in the Survey, but we are told that it is 

^ //z;z., ii., 92. 

- From a description communicated by Mr Basil Stallybrass. The 
motte is shown in a drawing in Stukeley's Itinerarium Curiosum. The 
"immense Romano-British camp" of which Mr Clark speaks {M. M. A., I, 
73) is nearly a mile west. 

^ Mountjoy, Monthalt (Mold), Beaumont, Beaudesert, Egremont, are 
instances in point. 



MORPETH— NEWCASTLE 171 

worth 6/. to the earl, and 3/. 35-. to the knights who 
hold under him. 

Morpeth, Northumberland (Fig. 21). — There Is 
only one mention known to us of Morpeth Castle in the 
I ith century, and that is in the poem of Geoffrey Galmar/ 
He says that William Rufus, when marching to 
Bamborough, to repress the rebellion of Mowbray, Earl 
of Northumberland, "took the strong castle of Morpeth, 
which was seated on a little mount," and belonged to 
William de Morlei. Thus there can be no doubt that 
the Ha' Hill, about 100 yards to the N. of the present 
castle, was the motte of the first castle of Morpeth, 
though the remains of the motte, which are mentioned 
by Hodgson, have been destroyed.^ A natural ridge 
has been used to form a castle by cutting off its higher 
end to form a motte, and making a court on the lower 
part of the ridge. The great steepness of the slopes 
rendered ordinary ditches unnecessary, nor are there 
any traces now of banks or foundations. In the court 
some Norman capitals and carved stones were found in 
1830. This early castle was admirably placed for com- 
manding the river and the bridge.^ The present castle 
of Morpeth was built in 1342- 1349.* 

Newcastle, Northumberland. — The first castle here 
was built by Robert, son of William I., on his return 
from his expedition to Scotland in 1080.^ It was of the 

^ Gaimar^ 214, Wright's edition. Gaimar wrote in the first half of the 
I2th century ; Wright states that his work is mainly copied from the Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle^ but its chief value lies in the old historical traditions of 
the north and east of England which he has preserved. 

^ Hodgson's History of Northumberland^ Part II., ii., 384, 389. 

^ This account is taken from a description kindly furnished by ?klr 
D. H. Montgomerie. 

■* Bates' Border Holds^ p. 1 1 . 

^ Simeon of Durham^ 1080. " Castellum Novum super flumen Tyne 
condidit." 



172 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

usual motte-and-balley kind, the motte standing in a 
small bailey which was rectilinear and roughly oblong.^ 
This motte was in existence when Brand wrote his 
History of Newcastle, but was removed in 1811. The 
castle was placed outside the Roman station at Monk- 
chester, and commanded a Roman bridge over the 
Tyne, ''and to the north-east overlooked a ravine that 
under the name of The Side formed for centuries a main 
arterv of communication between Encrland and Scot- 
land." ^ Henry IL, when he built the fine keep of this 
castle, did not place it on the motte, but in the outer 
and larger ward, which was roughly triangular. The 
outer curtain appears to have stood on the banks of the 
former earthen castle, as the Parliamentary Survey of 
1649 speaks of the castle as '' bounded with strong works 
of stone and mud."^ The area of the whole castle was 
3 acres and i rood. 

NoRHAM, Northumberland (Fig. 22). — The first 
castle here was built by Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of 
Durham, in the reign of William Rufus. It was built 
to defend Northumberland against the incursions of the 
Scots, and we are expressly told that no castle had 
existed there previously.^ This first castle, which we 
may certainly assume to have been of earth and wood, 
was destroyed by the Scots in 11 38, and there does not 
seem to have been any stone castle until the time ofil 

^ See the map in an important paper on Newcastle by Longstaffe, Arch, i 
y£h'ana, iv., 45. 

2 Guide to the Castle of Newcastle, published by Society of Antiquaries : 
of Newcastle, 1901. 

^ Longstaffe, as above. 

^ " Condidit castellum in excelso preruptse rupis super Twedam flumen, 
ut inde latronum incursus inhiberet, et Scottorum irruptiones. Ibi enim 
utpote in confinia regni Anglorum et Scottorum creber prasdantibus ante : 
patebat excursus, nullo enim quo hujiismodi ijnpetus I'epelleretu?" prcesidio i 
locate." Symeon of Durham, R. S., i., 140. 




NORHAM. 



O lOO 200 300 




Approximate Lme^^^^^^^^^^.^%^^^^ 
of On^mal Erfcemt^ "^c-.X yi^P, V^^*" 



a. CL Modern 
acfc/iCions Co MoCLe 



^i ver LeC^' 
Nottingham. 



Fig. 22. 



[To face p. 172. 



NORHAM— NORWICH 173 

Bishop Puiset or Pudsey, who built the present keep by 
command of King Henry 11.^ Mr Clark tried hard to 
find some work of Flambard's in this tower, but found 
it difficult, and was driven back on the rather lame 
assumption that "the lapse of forty [really fifty at least] 
years had not materially changed the style of archi- 
tecture then in use."^ In fact, the Norman parts of 
this keep show no work so early as the nth century, 
but are advanced in style, for not only was the basement 
vaulted, but the first floor also. The simple explanation 
is that Flambard threw up the large square motte on 
which the keep now stands, and provided it with the 
usual wooden defences. It also had a strong tower, but 
almost certainly a wooden one ; hence it was easily 
destroyed by the Scots when once taken. ^ The motte 
was probably lowered to some extent when the stone 
keep was built. It stands on a high bank overlooking 
the Tweed, and is separated from its bailey by a deep 
ditch. The bailey may be described as a segment of a 
circle ; its area is about 2 acres. 

Norwich (Fig. 23). — We find from Domesday 
Book that no less than 113 houses were destroyed for 
the site of this castle, a certain proof that the castle was 
I new."* It is highly probable that it was outside the 
; primitive defences of the town, at any rate in part. 
: Norwich was built, partly on a peninsula formed by a 

* "Castellum di Northam, quod munitionibus infirmum reperit, turre 
validissima forte reddidit."' Geoffrey of Coldingha7n, 12 (Surtees Society). 
Symeon says it was built " precepto regis." The keep was extensively 
altered in the Decorated period. 

'^ M. M. A., ii., 331. ^ Richard of Hexhain^ 319 (Twysden). 

* " In ilia terra de qua Herold habebat socam sunt 15 burgenses et 17 
mansurae vastae, quae sunt in occupatione castelli ; et in burgo 190 mansurae 
vacuae in hoc quod erat in soca regis et comitis, et 81 in occupatione castelli." 
D. B., ii., 116. This shows that the castle and its ditches occupied ground 

; partly within and partly without the ancient burh. 



174 CASTI.ES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

double bend of the river Wensum, partly in a district 
lying south-west of this peninsula, and defended by a 
ridge of rising ground running in a north-easterly 
direction. The castle was placed on the edge of this 
ridge, and all the oldest part of the town, including the 
most ancient churches, lies to the east of it.^ In the 
conjectural map of Norwich in iioo, given in Wood- 
ward's History of Norwich Castle^ the street called 
Burg Street divides the Old Burg on the east from the 
New Burg on the west ; this street runs along a ridge 
which traverses the neck of the peninsula from south- 
west to north-east, and on the northern end of this 
ridge the castle stands.^ There can be little doubt that 
this street marks the line of the burh or enclosing bank 
by which the primitive town of Norwich was defended/ 
A clear proof of this lies in the fact that the castle of 
Norwich was anciently not in the jurisdiction of the 
city, but in that of the county ; the citizens had no 
authority over the houses lying beyond the castle ditches 
until it was expressly granted to them by Edward 1 11.^ 
The mediaeval walls of Norwich, vastly extending the 
borders of the city, were not built till Henry III.'s reign.^ 
The motte of Norwich Castle, according to recent 

1 Harrod's Gleanings among Castles^ p. 142. 

2 The authorities from which this map is compiled are not given. 

2 The "new borough" at Norwich was the quarter inhabited by the 
Normans. D. B., ii., 118. " Franci de Norwich: in novo burgo 36 
burgenses et 6 Anglici." Mr Hudson says that Mancroft Leet corresponds 
to the new burgh added to Norwich at the Conquest. See his map in 
Arch. Journ.y xlvi. 

^ Norwich was not a Roman town ; see Haverfield, Vict. Hist, of 
Norfolk^ i., 320. But the Roman road from Caistor passed exactly under- 
neath the castle motte. Bi^t. Arch. Assoc. Journ.^ xlvi., Rev. H. Dukin- 
field Astley. 

^ Harrod's Gleaniftgs ajnong Castles^ p. 137. 

^ Mon. Ang.^ iv., 13. In 37 Henry HI. the monks of Norwich Priory 
received "licentiam includendi eandem villam cum fossis," and by doing 
this they enclosed the lands of other fees. 



vl 



. ud' 




Norwich. 
(From Harrod's "Gleanings amony the Castles and Convents of Xorfolk," p. 133.) 



Fin. 23. 



[To face p. 174. 



1 



NORWICH 175 

investigations, is entirely artificial ; ^ it was originally 
square, and had *'a prodigious large and deep ditch 
around it." ^ The fancy of the antiquary Wllkins that 
the motte was the centre of two concentric outworks ^ 
was completely disproved by Mr Harrod, who showed 
that the original castle was a motte with one of the 
ordinary half-moon baileys attached. Another ward, 
called the Castle Meadow, was probably added at a 
later date. The magnificent keep which now stands 
on the motte is undoubtedly a work of the 12th 
century.^ The castle which Emma, wife of Earl Ralf 
Guader, defended against the Conqueror after the 
celebrated bride-ale of Norwich was almost certainly a 
wooden structure. As late as the year 1172 the bailey 
was still defended by a wooden stockade and wooden 
bretasches;^ and even in 1225 the stockade had not 
been replaced by a stone wall.^ 

Norwich was a royal castle, and consequently always 
i in the hands of the sheriff; it was never the property 
of the Blgods.^ As the fable that extensive lands 
belonging to the monastery of Ely were held on the 
tenure of castle guard at Norwich before the Conquest 
is repeated by all the local historians,^ it is worth while 



^ Arch. Joum.^ xlvi., 445. 

2 Kirkpatrick's Notes of Norwich Castle^ written about 1725. He states 
that the angles of the motte had been spoilt, and much of it fallen away. 

^ ArchcBologia^ vol. xii. 

* Mr Hartshorne thought it was built between 1120 and 1125. Arch. 
Journ.^ xlvi., 260. It is certainly not as late as Henry II. 's reign, or the 
accounts for it would appear in the Pipe Rolls. 

" Pipe Rolls^ 19 Henry II., p. 117. In reparatione pontis lapidei et 
palicii et 3 bretascharum in eodem castello, 20/. 4J-. Zd. 

^ Close Rolls, ii., 22. Order that the palicium of Norwich Castle, which 
has fallen down and is threatened with ruin, be repaired. 

'' Kirkpatrick, Notes on Norwich Castle. 

^ Except Kirkpatrick, who shows a judicious scepticism on the subject. 
Jbid., p. 248. 



176 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

to note that the charters of Henry L setting the convent 
free from this service, make no allusion to any such 
ancient date for it,^ and that the tenure of castle guard 
is completely unknown to the Anglo-Saxon laws. The 
area of the inner bailey is 2>i acres, and that of the 
outer, 4|- acres. The value of Norwich had greatly 
risen since the Conquest.^ 

Nottingham (Fig. 22). — This important castle is 
not mentioned in Domesday Book, but the Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle says that William L built the castle at 
Nottingham in 1067, on his way to repress the first 
insurrection in Yorkshire. Ordericus, repeating this 
statement, adds that he committed it to the keeping of 
William Peverel.^ The castle was placed on a lofty 
headland at some distance from the Danish borough, 
and between the two arose the Norman borough which 
is mentioned in Domesday Book as the novus bttrgus. 
The two upper wards of the present castle probably 
represent William's plan. The upper ward forms a 
natural motte of rock, as it is 15 feet higher than the 
bailey attached to it, and has been separated from 
it by a ditch cut across the rocky headland, which 
can still be traced below the modern house which 
now stands on the motte. Such a site was not 
only treated as a motte, but was actually called by 
that name, as we read of the niota of Nottingham 
Castle in the Pipe Rolls of both John's and Richard L's ; 
reigns. 

Mr Clark published a bird's-eye view of Nottingham 
Castle in his Mediceval Military Architecture, about 
which he only stated that it was taken from thei] 
Illustrated London News. It does not agree with the^ 

1 Mon. Ang., i., 482. ^ D. B., ii., 117. 

' Ordericus, ii., 184. 



T 



i 



NOTTINGHAM 17 



hr 



plan made by Simpson in 1617/ and Is therefore not 
quite trustworthy ; the position of the keep, for example, 
is quite different. The keep, which Hutchison in his 
Memoirs speaks of as " the strong tower called the Old 
Tower on the top of the rock," seems clearly Norman, 
from the buttresses. It was placed (according to 
Simpson's plan), on the north side of the small ward 
which formed the top of the motte, and was enclosed in 
a yet older shell wall which has now disappeared. The 
height of this motte Is indicated In the bird's-eye view 
by the ascending wall which leads up It from the bailey. 
It had Its own ditch, as appears by several mentions in 
the accounts of *' the drawbridge of the keep," and *'the 
bridge leading up to the dongeon."^ It is highly 
probable that this keep was built by King John, as in 
a Mise Roll of 1212 there is a payment entered 
** towards making the tower which the king commanded 
to be built on the motte of Nottingham."^ But the 
first masonry in the castle was probably the work of 
Henry II., who spent ^1737, 9s. 5d. on the castle and 
houses, the gaol, the king's chamber, the hall, and In 
raising the walls and enclosing the bailey.^ The castle 
has been so devastated by the 17th century spoiler, that 
the work of Henry and John has been almost entirely 



Wm ^ Published in a paper on Nottingham Castle by Mr Emanuel Green, in 
rch. Journ. for December 1901. 
2 See Mr Green's paper, as above, p. 388. 

^ "Apud Rokingham libera vimus Philippo Marco ad faciendam turrim 

^uam dominus Rex precepit fieri in Mota de Notingham 100 marcas quas 

urgenses de Notingham et Willelmus Fil. Baldwini dederunt domino Regi 

TO benevolencia sua habenda." In Cole's Documents Illustrative of English 

istory^ 235. There is some reason to think that John instead of building 

phe cylindrical keeps which were then coming into fashion, reverted to the 

?quare form generally followed by his father. 

* Pipe Rolls, 1170-1186. The Pipe Roll of 6 Richard I. mentions the 
Tiaking of " i posterne in mota," which may be the secret passage in the 
j'ock. 

M 



178 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

swept away, but the one round tower which still remains 
as part of the defences of the inner bailey, looks as 
though it might be of the time of Henry IL This 
bailey is semicircular ; the whole original castle covers 
only if acres. A very much larger bailey was added 
afterwards, probably in John's reign. ^ Probably this 
later bailey was at first enclosed with a bank and 
stockade, and this stockade may be the palitium of 
which there are notices in the records of Henry HL 
and Edward L^ The main gateway of this bailey, 
which still remains, is probably of Edward L or 
Edward H.'s reign. ^ 

The castle of Nottingham was the most important 
one in the Midlands, and William of Newburgh speaks 
of it as *'so well defended by nature and art that it 
appears impregnable."^ The value of the town had 
risen from ^i8 to ^30 at the time of the Survey.^ 

Okehampton, Devon (Fig. 24). — Baldwin de Molis, 
Sheriff of Devon, held the manor of Okehampton 
at the time of the Survey, and had a castle there.^ 
On a hill in the valley of the Okement River 

I 

1 This is rendered probable by a writ of Henry III.'s reign, ordering that | 
half a mark is to be paid annually to Isolde de Gray for the land which she 
had lost in King John's time '"''per incrementum fof-inseci ballii Castri de 
Notinge:' Close Rolls^ i., 508. 

* Close Rolls^ i., 548b. " Videat quid et quantum masremii opus fuerit j 
ad barbecanas et palitia ipsius castri reparanda" (1223). Close Rolls, i., 
531b ; Timber ordered for the repair of the bridges, bretasches, and 
palicium gardini (1223). Cal of Close Rolls, 1286, p. 390 : Constable is to 
have timber to repair the weir of the mill, and the palings of the court of 
the castle. Nottingham was one of eight castles in which John had baths 
put up. Rot. MiscB., 7 John. 

3 The murage of the town of Nottingham was assigned " to the repair 
of the outer bailey of the castle there" in 1288. Patent Rolls, Edward I., 

io 308. 

* Chapter xhi. ^ D. B., 1., 280. 

* " Ipse Baldwinus vicecomes tenet de Rege Ochementone, et ibi sedet 
castellum." D. B., i., 105b, 2. 



1 




"• v'^^.■ o loo 200 

■ .<C^ III I 

5?" Feet. 



^ 



Okehampton, Devon. 




^5 ^^=^:; 

-?o •... 



75.-. 






S// ^ 



/o^ .■■■/ 

Penwortham, Lancs. 




Pbvknsey, Sussex. 



Fig. 24. 



[To face J). 178. 



'i 



OKEHAMPTON— OSWESTRY 179 

stand the remains of a castle of the motte-and-bailey 
pattern. On the motte, which is high and steep, are the 
ruins of a keep of late character, probably of the 14th 
century.^ The oval bailey covers ^ an acre, and the 
whole castle is surrounded with a very deep ditch (filled 
up now on the east side) which is in part a natural 
ravine. The usual ditch between the motte and the 
bailey is absent here. This castle appears to have 
continued always in private hands, and therefore there 
Is little to be learned about It from the public records. 
The value of Okehampton manor had Increased since 
the Conquest from ^8 to ^10. As there is no burgus 
mentioned T. R. E., but four bm^genses and a market 
T. R. W., Baldwin the Sheriff must have built a 
borough as well as a castle. Otherwise It was a small 
manor of thirty ploughs. 

Oswestry, Shropshire. — Mr Eyton's Identification 
of the Domesday castle of Louvre, In the manor of 

I Meresberie, Shropshire, with Oswestry, seems to be 
decisive.^ The name is simply L'QEuvre, the Work, a 
name very frequently given to castles in the early 

I Norman period. Domesday Book says that Ralnald 

I de Ballleul built a castle at this place.^ He had married 
the widow of Warin, Sheriff of Shropshire, who died 
in 1085. The castle afterwards passed Into the hands 

1 of the Fitz Alans, great lords-marcher on the Welsh 

' The late Mr Worth thought the lower part of the keep was early 
Norman. He was perhaps misled by the round arched loops in the base- 
ment. But round arches are by no means conclusive evidence in them- 
selves of Norman date, and the size of these windows, as well as the 
absence of buttresses, and the presence of pointed arches, are quite 
incompatible with the early Norman period. The whole architecture of 
the castle agrees with a 14th century date, to which the chapel undoubtedly 
belongs. 

'^ Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire^ vol. vii. 

•' "Ibi fecit Rainaldus Castellum Luure." D. B., i., 253b. Rainald 
was an under-tenant of Roger, Earl of Shrewsbury. 



180 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

border. As the Welsh annals give the credit of building 
the castle to Madoc ap Meredith, into whose hands it fell 
during the reign of Stephen, It Is not impossible that 
some of the masonry still existing on the motte, which 
consists of large cobbles bedded In very thick mortar, 
may be his work, and probably the first stonework in 
the castle. A sketch made In the i8th century, however, 
which is the only drawing preserved of the castle, seems 
to show architecture of the Perpendicular period.-^ But 
probably the keep alone was of masonry In the 12th 
century, as In 11 66, when the castle was In royal 
custody, the repair of the stockade Is referred to In the 
Pipe Rolls} No plan has been preserved of Oswestry 
Castle, so that it Is Impossible to recover the shape or 
area of the bailey, which is now built over. The manor 
of Meresberie had been unoccupied (wasta) In the days 
of King Edward, but It yielded 40s. at the date of 
the Survey. Eyton gives reasons for thinking that 
the town of Oswestry was founded by the Normans. 

Oxford (Fig. 25). — This castle was built In 107 1 by 
Robert d'Oilgl (or d'OIlly), a Norman who received large 
estates in Oxfordshire.^ Oxford was a burgus in Saxon 
times, and is one of those mentioned in the Burghal 
Hidage. Domesday tells us that the king has twenty 
mural mansions there, which had belonged to Algar, 
Earl of Mercia, and that they were called mural mansions 
because their owners had to repair the city wall at 
the king's behest, a regulation probably as old as the 
days of Alfred. The Norman castle was placed outside 

^ This sketch is reproduced in Mr Parry-Jones' St07y of Oswestry Castle. 
Leland says, " Extat turris in castro nomine Madoci." Itin., v., 38. 

- " In operatione paHcii de Blancmuster 2/. 6s. 8^." XII., 124. Oswestry 
was known as Blancmoustier or Album Monasterium in Norman times. 

•" Abingdon Chronicle and Osney Chronicle^ which, though both of the 
13th century, were no doubt compiled from earlier sources. 




[To face p. 180. 



OXFORD 181 

the town walls, but near the river, from which its 
trenches were fed/ It was without doubt a motte-and- 
bailey castle ; the motte still remains, and the accom- 
panying bird's-eye view by David Loggan, 1675, shows 
that the later stone walls of the bailey stood on the 
earthen banks of D'Oilly's castle. The site is now 
occupied by a gaol. On the line of the walls rises the 
ancient tower of St George's Church, which so much 
resembles an early Norman keep that we might think it 
was intended for one, if the Osney chronicler had not 
expressly told us that the church was founded two years 
after the castle.^ It is evident that the design was to 
make the church tower work as a mural tower, a 
combination of piety and worldly wisdom quite in accord 
with what the chronicler tells us of the character of 
Roger d'Oilly. 

Henry II. spent some ^260 on this castle between 
the years 1165 and 1173, the houses in the keep, and 

I the well being specially mentioned. We may presume 
that he built with stone the decagonal [shell ? ] keep on 
the motte, whose foundations were discovered at the end 
of the 1 8th century.^ There is still in the heart of the 
motte a well in a very remarkable well chamber, the 
masonry of which may be of his time. The area of the 
bailey appears to have been 3 acres. 

The value of the city of Oxford had trebled at the 

I time of the Domesday Survey.^ 

In the treaty between Stephen and Henry in 1153 
the whole castle of Oxford is spoken of as the " Mota" 
of Oxford.^ 

^ Osney Chronicle^ 1071. 

^ See Ingram's Memorials of Oxford ior an account of the very interest- 
ing crypt of this church, p. 8. The battlement storey of the tower is 
comparatively late. ^ Mackenzie, Castles of England^ i., 160. 

* I). B., p. 154. ■'• Rymer's Fwdera^ vol. i. 



182 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Peak Castle, Derbyshire. — The Survey simply calls 
this castle the Castle of William Peverel, but tells us that 
two Saxons had formerly held the land} There is no 
motte here, but the strong position, defended on two 
sides by frightful precipices, rendered very little fortifica- 
tion necessary. It is possible that the wall on the N. 
and W. sides of the area may be, in part at least, 
the work of William Peverel ; the W. wall contains 
a great deal of herring-bone work, and the tower at 
the N.W. angle does not flank at all, while the other 
one in the N. wall only projects a few feet ; the poor 
remains of the gatehouse also appear to be Norman. 
It would probably be easier to build a wall than to 
raise an earthbank in this stony country ; nevertheless, 
behind the modern wall v/hlch runs up from the gate- 
house to the keep, something like an earthbank may 
be observed on the edge of the precipice, which ought 
to be examined before any conclusions are determined 
as to the first fortifications of this castle. The keep, 
which is of different stone to the other towers and the 
walls, stands on the highest ground in the area, 
apparently on the natural rock, which crops up in the 
basement. It Is undoubtedly the work of Henry II., 
as the accounts for it remain in the Pipe Rolls, and the 
slight indications of style which it displays, such as the 
nook-shafts at the angles, correspond to the Transition 
Norman period.^ The shape of the bailey is a quadrant ; ^' 
its area scarcely exceeds i acre. 

1 " Terram castelli Pechefers tenuerunt Gerneburn et Hunding." D. B., 
i., 276a, 2. 

2 There are similar nook-shafts to Henry II.'s keep at Scarborough, and 
to Castle Rising. Mr Hartshorne {Arch. Journ., v., 207) thought that 
there had been an earlier stone keep at Peak Castle, because some moulded 
stones are used in the walls, and because there is some herring-bone work in 
the basement. But this herring-bone work only occurs in a revetment wall 
to the rock in the cellar ; and the moulded stones may be quite modern 



PEAK— PEN WORTH A:M 183 

The value of the manor had risen since the Conquest, 
and William Peverel had doubled the number of ploughs 
in the demesne. The castle only remained in the hands 
of the Peverels for two generations, and was then 
forfeited to the crown. The manor was only a small 
one ; and the site of the castle was probably chosen for 
its natural advantages and for the facility of hunting in 
the Peak Forest. 

Penwortham, Lancashire (Fig. 24). — " King Edward 
held Peneverdant. There are two carucates of land 
there, and they used to pay ten pence. Now there is a 
castle there, and there are two ploughs In the demesne, 
and six burghers, and three radmen, and eight villeins, 
and four cowherds. Amongst them all they have four 
ploughs. There is half a fishery there. There is wood 
and hawk's eyries, as in King Edward's time. It is 
worth ^3."^ The very great rise in value in this manor 
shows that some great change had taken place since the 
Norman Conquest. This change was the building of a 
castle. The modo of Domesday always expresses a 
contrast with King Edward's time, and clearly tells us 
here that Penwortham Castle was new.^ It lay in the 
extensive lands between the Ribble and the Mersey, 
which were part of the Conqueror's enfeoffment of Roger 
the Poitevin, third son of Earl Roger de jMontgomeri.' 
Since Penwortham is mentioned as demesne, and no 

insertions for repairs, and may have come from the oratory in the N.E. 
angle, or from some of the ruined windows and doorways. The sums 
entered to this castle between the years 1172 and 1176 are less than half the 
cost of Scarborough keep, and do not appear adequate, though the keep was 
a small one. But there is some reason to think that the cost of castles was 
occasionally defrayed in part from sources' not entered in the Pipe Rolls. 

^ Rex E. tenuit Peneverdant. Ibi 2 carucatae terrse et reddebant 10 
denarios. Modo est ibi castellum. . . . Valent 3 libras. D. B., i., 270. 

^ We need not resort to any fanciful British origins of the name Pene- 
verdant, as it is clearly the effort of a Norman scribe to write down the un- 
pronounceable English name Penwortham. ' See ante^ under Clithcroe. 



184 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

under-tenant is spoken of, we may perhaps assume that 
this castle, which was the head of a barony, was built by 
Roger himself. He did not hold it long, as he forfeited 
all his estates in 1102. At a later period, though we 
have not been able to trace when, the manor of 
Penwortham passed into the hands of the monks of 
Evesham, to whom the church had already been granted, 
at the end of the Conqueror's reign/ Probably it is 
because the castle thus passed into the hands of the 
church that it never developed into a stone castle, like 
Clitheroe. The seat of the barony was transferred else- 
where, and probably the timbers of the castle were used 
in the monastic buildings of Penwortham Priory. 

The excavations which were made here in 1856 
proved conclusively that there were no stone foundations 
on the Castle Hill at Penwortham.^ These excavations 
revealed the singrular fact that the Norman had thrown 
up his motte on the site of a British or Romano-British 
hut, without even being aware of it, since the ruins of 
the hut were buried 5 feet deep and covered by a 
grass-grown surface, on which the Norman had laid a 
rude pavement of boulders before piling his motte.^ 

1 Mr Halton's book {Documents relati?ig to the Priory of Penwortham) 
throws no light on this point. 

^ Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 
ix., 1856-1857, paper on "The Castle Hill of Penwortham," by the Rev. W. 
Thornber ; Hardwick's History of Preston, pp. 103-11. 

"^ In a paper published in the Trans. Soc. Ant. Scot, for 1900, on "Anglo- 
Saxon Burhs and Early Norman Castles," the present writer was misled into 
the statement that this hut was the remains of the cellar of the Norman 
bretasche. A subsequent study of Mr Hardwick's more lucid account of 
the excavations showed that this was an error. There were two pavements 
of boulders, one on the natural surface of the hill, on which the hut had 
been built, the other 5 feet above it, and 12 feet below the present 
surface. The hut appeared to have been circular, with wattled walls and a 
thatched roof. Several objects were found in its remains, and were pro- 
nounced to be Roman or Romano-British. The upper pavement would 
probably be the flooring of a Norman keep. 



PENWORTHAM— PETERBOROUGH 185 

Among the objects found in the excavations was a 
Norman prick spur, a conclusive proof of the Norman 
origin of the motte.^ No remains appear to have been 
found of the Norman wooden keep ; but this would be 
accounted for by the theory suggested above. 

Penwortham is a double motte, the artificial hill 
rising on the back of a natural hill, which has been 
isolated from its continuing ridge by an artificial ditch 
cut through it. The double hill rises out of a bailey 
court which is rudely square, but w^hose shape is 
determined by the ground, which forms a headland 
running out into the Ribble. The whole area cannot 
certainly be ascertained. There was a ferry at this 
point in Norman times. "^ The castle defends the mouth 
of the Ribble and overlooks the town of Preston. 

Penwortham was certainly not the cap2U of a large 
soke in Saxon times, as it was only a berewick of 
Blackburn, in which hundred it lay. It was the Norman 
who first made it the seat of a barony. 

Peterborough. — The chronicler, Hugh Candidus, 
tells us that Abbot Thorold, the Norman abbot w^hom 
William I. appointed to the ancient minster of Peter- 
borough, built a castle close to the church, ''which in 
these days is called Mount Torold."^ This mount is 

^ Mr Roach Smith pronounced this spur to be Norman. As its evidence 
is so important, it is to be regretted that its position was not more accur- 
ately observed. It was found in the lowest stratum of the remains, but Mr 
Hardwick says : " As it was not observed until thrown to the surface, a 
possibility remained that it might have fallen from the level of the upper 
boulder pavement, 5 feet higher." We may regard this possibility as a 
certainty, if the lower hut was really British. 

- Mr Willoughby Gardner says the castle commands a ford, to which 
the ancient sunk road leads. Victoria Hist, of Lancashire ., vol. ii. 

^ Hugh Candidus, Ccenob. Burg. Historia, in Sparke's Scriptores^ p. 63. 
This passage was kindly pointed out to me by Mr Round. Hugh lived in 
1 Henry II I. 's reign, but he must have had the more ancient records of the 
[monastery at his disposal. 



186 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

still existing, but it has lost Its ancient name, and Is 
now called Tout Hill. It stands in the Deanery garden, 
and has probably been largely ransacked for garden 
soil, as it has a decayed and shapeless look. Still, it is a 
venerable relic of Norman aggression, well authenticated. 
Pevensey, Sussex (Fig. 24). — The Roman castrum 
of Pevensey (still so striking in Its remains) was an 
Inhabited town at the date of the Norman Conquest, 
and was an Important port.^ After taking possession 
of the castrum, William L drew a strong bank across its 
eastern end, and placed a castle In the area thus isolated. 
This first castle was probably entirely of wood, as there 
was a v^ ood^n palicium on the bank as late as the reign 
of Henry \\} But If a wooden keep was built at first, 
it was very soon superseded by one of stone.^ The 
remains of this keep have recently been excavated by 
Mr Harold Sands and Mr Montgomerie, and show 
it to have been a most remarkable building^ (see 
Chapter XH., p. 355) — in all probability one of the few 
nth century keeps in England. We may perhaps 
attribute this distinction to the fact that no less a man 
than the Conqueror's half-brother, the Count of Mortain, 
was made the guardian of this Important port. 

^ Domesday Book mentions that the value of the burgus had greatly 
risen. It was one of the burhs mentioned in the Burghal Hidage. 

^ Pipe Roll^ 1187-1188. William of Jumi^ges says, " Statim firmissimo 
vallo castrum condidit, probisque militibus commisit." VII., 34. Wace 
professes to give the account of an eye-witness, who saw the timber for the 
castle landed from the ships, and the ditch dug. But Wace was not a 
contemporary, and as he has made the mistake of making William land at 
Pevensey instead of Hastings, his evidence is questionable. Roman de Rou^ 
p. 293 (Andresen's edition). 

^ The ruins of this keep, until 1908, were buried under so large a mound 
of earth and rubbish that Mr G. T. Clark mistook it for a motte, and the 
present writer was equally misled. It ought to be stated, before the date of. 
this keep is finally settled, that the Gesta S tepha?it s'peTiks of this castle as 
" editissimo aggere sublatum." P. 106. ■* 3id. 



PEVENSEY— PONTEFRACT 187 

Pevensey is mentioned as a port in the Close Rolls 
of Henry III.'s reign, and was one of the important 
waterways to the Continent.^ As has been already noted, 
the estabHshment of the castle was followed by the usual 
rise in the value of the btcrgiis/' The area of the castle 
covers i acre. 

PoNTEFRACT, Yorkshire (Fig. 26). — This castle Is 
not spoken of in Domesday by Its French name, but 
there can be no doubt that It Is "the Castle of Ilbert " 
which is twice mentioned and several times alluded to in 
the Clamores, or disputed claims, which are enrolled at 
the end of the list of lands In Yorkshire beloncrlno; to 
the tenants-in-chief.^ The existence of Ilbert's castle at 
Pontefract In the nth century Is made certain by a 
charter (only an early copy of which is now extant) In 
the archives of the Duchy of Lancaster, In which 
William Rufus at his accession regrants to Ilbert de 
Lacy " the custom of the castelry of his castle, as he had 
it in the Conqueror's days and In those of the bishop of 
Bayeux."'* As Mr Holmes remarks, this carries us 
back to four years before the compilation of Domesday 
Book, since Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, whom William had 
left as regent during his absence in Normandy, was 
^! arrested and imprisoned In 1082.^ 

Pontefract Is called Kirkby In some of the earlier 
charters, and this was evidently the English (or rather 
the Danish) name of the place. It lay within the manor 
of Tateshall, which is supposed to be the same as 
Tanshelf, a name still preserved in the neighbourhood 

' Close Rolls^ i., 631a. ^ D. B., i., 20b. 

^ D. B., i., 373b. * Cited in Holmes' History of Pontefract^ p. 62. 

"* Another charter, which is a confirmation by the second Ilbert de Lacy 
of the ecclesiastical gifts of Ilbert I. and Robert his son, states that the 
Chapel of St Clement in the castle of Pontefract was founded by Ilbert I. 
in the reign of William II. Mon. Ang.^ v., I23. 



188 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

of, but not exactly at, Pontefract.^ Tanshelf claims to 
be the Taddenescylf mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon 
Chronicle, where King Edgar received the submission of 
the Yorkshire Danes in 947. There is no proof that 
the hill at Kirkby was fortified before the Conquest. It 
was a steep headland rising out of the plain of the Aire, 
and needing only to be scarped by art and to have a 
ditch cut across its neck to be almost impregnable. It 
lay scarcely a mile east of the Roman road from 
Doncaster to Castleford and the north. 

It is no part of our task to trace the fortunes of this 
famous castle, which was considered in the Middle Ages 
to be the key of Yorkshire.^ In spite of the labels 
affixed to the walls we venture to assert with confidence 
that none of the masonry now visible belongs to the 
days of Ilbert. The structural history of the castle was 
probably this : Ilbert de Lacy, one of the greatest of the 
Norman tenants-in-chief in Yorkshire,^ built in this 
naturally defensive situation a castle of earth and wood, 
like other Norman castles. Whether he found the place 
already defended by earthen banks we do not attempt to 
decide, but analogy makes it fairly certain that the 
motte was his work, and was crowned by a wooden 
tower. This motte, which was at least partially scarped 
out of the soft sandstone rock, is now disguised by the 
remarkable keep which has been built up around it, 
consisting at present of two enormous round towers and 
the ruins of a third. As a fourth side is vacant, it may 

^ It is not necessary to discuss the meaning of the name Pontefract, 
since for whatever reason it was given, it was clearly bestowed by the 
Norman settlers, 

2 "Castrum de Pontefracto est quasi clavis in comitatu Ebor." Letter of 
Ralph Neville to Henry III., Fcrdera, i., 429, cited by Holmes, Po?itefracf, 
194. 

^ The Conqueror had given him more than 200 manors in Yorkshire. 
Yorks. Arch. Joiirn.j xiv., 17. 




PONTEFRACT, YORKS. 





FZ£t, 



Preston Capes, Northaxts. 



QuATFORD, Salop. 



Fig. 26. 



ITojaciip. 188. 



1 



PONTEFRACT 189 

reasonably be conjectured that there was a fourth 
roundel.^ If the plan was a quatrefoil It resembled that 
of the keep of York, which is now ascertained to belong 
to the reign of Henry III. ; and the very little detail 
that is left supports the view that Pontefract keep was 
copied from the royal experiment at York, though it 
differed from it in that it actually revetted the motte 
itself There is no ditch now round the motte, but we 
venture to think that its inner ditch is indicated by the 
position of the postern in Piper's Tower, which seems to 
mark its outlet. It appears to have been partly filled up 
during the great siege of Pontefract in 1648.^ The 
platform which is attached to the motte on the side 
facing the bailey is probably an addition of the same 
date, intended for artillery ; its retaining wall shows 
signs of hasty construction. A well chamber and a 
passage leading both to it and to a postern opening 
towards the outer ditch appear to have been made in 
the rocky base of the motte in the 13th century. 

The area of the inner and probably original bailey of 
this castle, including the motte, is 2^ acres. The Main 
Guard, and another bailey covering the approach on the 
S. side, were probably later additions, bringing up the 
castle area to 7 acres. The shape of the first bailey is 
an irregular oval, determined by the hill on which it 
: stands. 

The value of the manor of Tateshall had fallen at 

^ Four roundels are shown in the plate given in Fox's History of 
Pontefract^ "from a drawing in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries." 
But the drawing is so incorrect in some points that it can hardly be relied 
upon for others. There were only three roundels in Leland's time. 

- Drake's account of the siege says that there was a hollow place 
' between Piper's Tower and the Round Tower all the way down to the well ; 
the gentlemen and soldiers all fell to carrying earth and rubbish, and so 
filled up the place in a little space. Quoted in Holmes' Manual of Pontefract 
; Castle. 



190 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

the time of the Survey from ^20 to ^15, an unusual 
circumstance in the case of a manor which had become 
the seat of an important castle ; but the number of 
ploughs had decreased by half, and we may infer that 
Tateshall had not recovered from the great devastation 
of Yorkshire in 1068.^ 

Preston Capes, Northants (Fig. 26). — That a 
castle of the nth century stood here is only proved by 
a casual mention in the Historia Fitndationis of the 
Cluniac priory of Daventry, which tells us that this 
priory was first founded by Hugh de Leycestre, 
Seneschal of Matilda de Senlis, close to his own castle 
of Preston Capes, about 1090. Want of water and the 
proximity of the castle proving inconvenient, the priory 
was removed to Daventry.^ The work lies about 3 
miles from the Watling Street. The castle stands on a 
spur of high land projecting northwards towards a feeder 
of the river Nesse, about 3 miles W. of the Watling 
Street. The works consist of a motte, having a flat top 
80 to 90 feet in diameter, and remains of a slight breast- 
work. This motte is placed on the edge of the plateau, 
and the ground falls steeply round its northern half. 
About 16 feet down this slope, a ditch with an outer 
bank has been dug, embracing half the mound. Lower 
down, near the foot of the slope, is another and longer 
ditch and rampart. It is probable that the bailey 
occupied the flatter ground S.E. of the motte, but the 
site is occupied by a farm, and no traces are visible.^ 

1 In the English Historical Review for July 1904, where this paper first 
appeared, the writer spoke of two mottes at Pontefract, having been led to 
this view by the great height of the east end of the bailey, where the ruins of 
John of Gaunt's work are found. This view is now withdrawn, in 
deference to the conclusions of Mr D. H. Montgomerie, F.S.A., who has 
carefully examined the spot. 

2 Mon. Ang., iv., 178. 
^ From a description by Mr D. H. Montgomerie. 



QUATFORD— RAYLEIGH 191 

The value of the manor of Preston Capes had risen 
from 6s. to 40s. at the time of the Survey. It was held 
by Nigel of the Count of Mellent.^ 

OuATFORD, Shropshire (Fig. 26). — There can hardly 
be any doubt that the nova domus at Quatford 
mentioned in the Survey was the new castle built by 
Roger de Montgomeri, Earl of Shrewsbury. We have 
already suggested that the btcrgtcs which also existed 
there may have been his work, and not that of the 
Danes." The manor belonged to the church before the 
Conquest.^ The oval motte, which still remains, is 
described as placed on a bold rocky promontory jutting 
into the Severn ; it is not quite 30 feet high, and about 
60 feet by 120 in diameter on top, and has a small 
bean-shaped bailey of i acre. It is near the church, 
- which has Norman remains.^ Robert Belesme, son of 
r Earl Roger, removed the castle to Bridgenorth, and so 
:the Quatford castle is heard of no more.^ The manor 
of Quatford was paying nothing at the date of the 
\ Survey. 

Rayleigh, Essex (Fig. 27). — " In this manor Sweyn 
[has made his castle."^ Sweyn was the son of Robert 
Fitz-Wymarc, a half English, half Norman favourite of 
Edward the Confessor. Robert was Sheriff of Essex 
under Edward and William, and Sweyn appears to have 
succeeded his father in this office."^ Sweyn built his 
castle on land which had not belonged to his father, so 
Rayleigh cannot be the " Robert's Castle " of the Anglo- 

* D. B., i., 224. ' See Chapter IV. 
^ Domesday Book says: "Ipse comes (Roger) tenet Ardinton. Sancta 

Milburga tenuit T. R. E. Ibi molinum et nova domus et burgus Quatford 
dictus, nil reddentes." I., 254. 

* G. T. Clark, in Arch. Cambrensis^ 1874, p. 264. 
^ Ord. Vit, iv., 32. 

* " In hoc manerio fecit Suenus suum castellum." D. B., ii., 33b. 
^ Freeman, N. C, ii., 329, and iv., Appendix H. 



192 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Saxon Chronicle, to which some of the Norman 
adventurers fled on the triumph of Earl Godwin.^ There 
is a fine motte at Rayleigh, and a semicircular bailey 
attached ; the ditch round the whole is still well marked. 
There is not a vestige of masonry on the surface, but 
some excavations made in 1910 revealed stone founda- 
tions. The Inner bailey covers J of an acre. The 
value of the manor had risen since the Conquest, but it 
was only a small one, with no villages in its soke. 

Richard's Castle, Herefordshire (Fig. 27). — There 
can be little doubt that this is the castle referred to in 
Domesday Book under the name of Avreton, as it is 
not far from Overton, on the northern border o 
Hereford.^ Richard's Castle Is almost certainly the 
castle of Richard, son of Scrob, one of the Normans to 
whom Edward the Confessor had granted large estates, 
and who probably fortified himself on this site. At the 
time of the Survey Richard was dead, and the castle 
was held by his son Osbern, and it is noted that he 
pays I OS., but the castle is worth 20s. to him. Its valu 
was the same as in King Edward's time, a fact worth 
noting, as It coincides with the assumption that this 
was a pre-Conquest castle. There is a high and steep 
motte at Richard's Castle, and a small half-moon shaped 
bailey.^ There are remains of a stone wing wall running 
down the motte, and on the top there is a straight piece 
of masonry which must be part of a tower keep. The 
area of the inner bailey is f of an acre. Avreton was 

^ Mr Round has suggested that this castle was at Canfield in Essex, 
where there is a motte and bailey. 

^ "Isdem Osbernus habet 23 homines in castello Avreton et reddit 10 
solidos. Valet ei castellum hoc 20 solidos." D. B., i., i86b. 

^ Mr Clark's plan is strangely incorrect, as he altogether omits the 
bailey. Compare the plan in Mr Round's Castles of the Conquest, 
Arch<zologia, vol. Iviii., and Mr Montgomerie's plan here, Fig. 27. 




Rayleigh, Esses. 




Richard's Castle, Hereford. 



Fig. 27. 



[To face 1). 192. 



"i 



RICHMOND 193 

not the centre of a soke, but appears to have lain In the 
manor of Ludeford. 

Richmond, Yorks (Fig. 28). — As in the case of 
Pontefract, this other great Yorkshire castle is not 
mentioned by name in Domesday Book, nor is there 
any allusion to it except a casual mention in the 
Recapitulation that Earl Alan has 199 manors in his 
castelry, and that besides the castelry he has 43 
manors.^ The castle must have been built at the date 
of the Survey, which was completed only a year before 
William I.'s death ; for during William's lifetime Earl 
Alan, the first holder of the fief, gave the chapel in the 
castle of Richmond to the abbey of St Mary at York, 
which he had founded.^ The name, of course, is French, 
and it seems impossible now to discover what English 
manor-name it has displaced.^ It is certainly a case in 
which the Norman castle was not placed in the seat of 
the former Saxon proprietor, but in the site which 
seemed most defensible to the Norman lord. The 
lands of Earl Alan in the wapentake of Gilling had 
belonged to the Saxon Earl Edwin, and thus cannot 
Jiave fallen to Alan's share before Edwin's death in 1071. 
The Genealogia published by Dods worth (from an MS. 
compiled in the reign of Edward HI.), says that Earl 
'Alan first built Richmond Castle near his chief manor 
jof Gilling, to defend his people against the attacks of 

1 "Comes Alanus habet in sua castellata 199 maneria. . . . Praster 
castellariam habet 43 maneria." D. B., i., 381a, 2. 

- This is stated in a charter of Henry IL, which carefully recapitulates 
:he gifts of the different benefactors to St Mary's. Mon. A7ig,^ iii., 548. It 
.8 curious that the charter of William II., the first part of which is an 
nspeximus of a charter of William I., does not mention this chapel in the 
:astle. 

I ^ Mr Skaife, the editor of the Yorkshire Domesday^ thinks that it was at 
JHinderlag, but gives no reasons. Hinderlag, at the time of the Survey 
;vas in the hands of an under-tenant. Yorks. Arch. Journ.^ Hi., 527, 530. 

N 



194 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

the disinherited English and Danes. ^ The passage has 
been enlarged by Camden, who says that Alan 
*' thought himself not safe enough in Gilling " ; and 
this has been interpreted to mean that Alan originally 
built his castle at Gilling, and afterwards removed it to 
Richmond ; but the original words have no such 
meaning.^ 

Richmond Castle differs from most of the castles 
mentioned in Domesday in that it has no motte. The 
ground plan indeed was very like that of a motte-and- 
bailey castle, in that old maps show a small roundish 
enclosure at the apex of the large triangular bailey.^ 
But a recent examination of the keep by Messrs Hope 
and Brakespear has confirmed the theory first enunciated 
by Mr Loftus Brock,* that the keep is built over the 
original gateway of the castle, and that the lower stage 
of its front wall is the ancient wall of the castle. The 
small ward indicated in the old maps is therefore most 
likely a barbican, of later date than the 12th century 
keep, which is probably rightly attributed by the 
Genealogia cited above to Earl Conan, who reigned 
from 1148-1171.^ Some entries in the Pipe Rolls 
make it almost certain that it was finished by Henry II., 

^ " Hie Alanus primo incepit facere castrum et munitionem juxta 
manerium suum capitale de Gilling, pro tuitione suorum contra infestationes 
Anglorum tunc ubique exhaeredatorum, similiter et Danorum, et nominavit 
dictum castrum Richmond suo ydiomate Gallico, quod sonat Latine divitem 
montem, in editiori et fortiori loco sui territorii situatum." Mon. Ang.^ 

v., 574. 

2 There are no remains of fortification at Gilling, but about a mile and 
a half away there used to be an oval earthwork, now levelled, called Castle 
Hill, of which a plan is given in M'Laughlan^s paper, Arch. Journ., vol. vi. 
It had no motte. Mr Clark says, "The mound at Gilling has not long been 
levelled." M. M. A., i., 23. It probably never existed except in his 
imagination. 

2 See Clarkson's History of Richmond. 

* Journal of Brit. Arch. Ass., Ixiii., 179. 

•'' These are the dates given in Morice's Bretagne. 



O ^ lOO Z oo 300 

Feet 




Richmond, Yorks. 




lOO 200 300 



Rochester, Kent. 



Fig. 28. 



[To face p. 194. 



RICHMOND— ROCHESTER 195 

who kept the castle in his own hands for some time after 
the death of Conan.^ There are some indications at 
Richmond that the first castle was of stone and not of 
earth and wood. The walls do not stand on earthen 
banks ; the Norman curtain can still be traced on two 
sides of the castle, and on the west side it seems of 
early construction, containing a great deal of herring- 
bone work, and might possibly be the work of Earl 
Alan. 

The whole area of the castle is 2^ acres, including 
the annexe known as the Cockpit. This was certainly 
enclosed during the Norman period, as it has a Norman 
gateway in its wall. 

As we do not know the name of the site of 
Richmond before the Conquest, and as the name of 
Richmond is not mentioned in Domesday Book, we 
cannot tell whether the value of the manor had risen or 
fallen. But no part of Yorkshire was more flourishing 
at the time of the Survey than this wapentake of 
Gilling, which belonged to Earl Alan ; In no district, 
except in the immediate neighbourhood of York, are 
! there so many places where the value has risen. Yet 
the greater part of it was let out to under-tenants. 

Rochester, Kent (Fig. 28). — Under the heading 

i of Aylsford, Kent, the Survey tells us that "the bishop 

• of Rochester holds as much of this land as is worth 

17s. 4d. zn exchange for the land in which the castle 

sits.'"^ Rochester was a Roman castrum, and portions 

of its Roman wall have recently been found.^ The fact 

I 

^ Henry spent 51/. \\s. 3^. in 1171 on "operationes domorum et turris," 
and 30/. 6j-. in 1174 on "operationes castelli et domorum," 

'^ " Episcopus de Rouecestre, pro excambio terras in qua castellum sedet, 
tantum de hac terra tenet quod 17 sol. et 4 den. valet." D. B., i., 2b. 

^ See Mr George Payne's paper on Roman Rochester^ in Arch. Cantiana^ 
vol. xxi. Mr Hope tells me that parts of all the four sides are left. 



196 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

that various old charters speak of the castellum of 
Rochester has led some authorities to believe that there 
was a castle there in Saxon times, but the context of 
these charters shows plainly that the words castellum 
Roffense were equivalent to castrum Roffense or 
Hrofesceastre} Otherwise there is not a particle of 
evidence for the existence of a castle at Rochester in 
pre-Norman times, and the passage in Domesday- 
quoted above shows that William's castle was a new 
erection, built on land obtained by exchange from the 
church. 

Outside the line of the Roman wall, to the south of 
the city, and west of the south gate, there is a district 
called Boley or Bullie Hill, which at one time was 
included in the fortifications of the present castle. It 
is a continuation of the ridge on which that castle 
stands, and has been separated from it by a ditch. 
This ditch once entirely surrounded it, and though it was 
partly filled up in the i8th century its line can still be 
traced. The area enclosed by this ditch was about 3 
acres ; the form appears to have been oblong. In the 
grounds of Satis House, one of the villas which have been 
built on this site, there stills remains a conical artificial 
mound, much reduced in size, as it has been converted 
Into a pleasure-ground with winding walks, but the 
retaining walls of these walks are composed of old 
materials ; and towards the riverside there are still 
vestiges of an ancient wall." We venture to think that 
this Boley Hill and its motte formed the original site 

^ Thus Egbert of Kent, in 765, gives "terram intra castelli mcenia supra- 
nominati, id est Hrofescestri, unum viculum cum duobus jugeribus," 
Kenible^ i., 138 ; and Offa speaks of the "episcopum castelH quod nominatur 
Hrofescester," Earle, Land Charters^ p. 60. 

2 See an extremely valuable paper on Mediceval Rochester by the Rev. ■ 
Greville M. Livett, Arch, Cantia?ia^ vol. xxi. 



ROCHESTER 197 

of the (probably) wooden castle of William the Conqueror. 
Its nature, position, and size correspond to what we 
have already observed as characteristic of the first 
castles of the Conquest. It stands on land which 
originally belonged to the church of St Andrew, as 
Domesday Book tells us William's castle did.^ The 
very name may be interpreted in favour of this theory.^ 
And that there was no Roman or Saxon fortification 
on the spot is proved by excavations, which have shown 
that both a Roman and a Saxon cemetery occupied 
portions of the area.^ 

It is well known that between the years 1087 and 
1089 the celebrated architect, Gundulf, Bishop of 
Rochester, built a new stone castle for William Rufus, 
"In the best part of the city of Rochester."'^ This 
castle, of course, was on the same site as the present 
one, though the splendid keep was not built till the next 

^ See the charter of Coenulf, King of Mercia, giving to Bishop Beornmod 
three ploughlands on the southern shore of the city of Rochester, from 
the highway on the east to the Medway on the west. Textus Roffensis^ 
p. 96. 

^ The name Boley may possibly represent the Norman-French BeaulieUy 
a favourite Norman name for a castle or residence. Professor Hales 
suggested that Boley Hill was derived from Bailey Hill (cited in Mr 
Gomme's paper on Boley Hill, Arch. Cantiana^ vol. xvii.). The oldest form 
of the name is Bullie Hill, as in Edward IV.'s charter, cited below, p. 200. 

^ Roman urns and lachrymatories were found in the Boley Hill when it 
was partially levelled in the i8th century to fill up the castle ditch. History 
of Rochester^ p. 281. At the part now called Watt's Avenue, Mr George 
Payne found " the fag-end of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery." Arch. Cantiana^ 
vol. xxi. 

* "In pulchriore parte civitatis Hrouecestre." Textus Roffcnsis^'^. 145. 
Mr Freeman and others have noticed that the special mention of a stone 
castle makes it probable that the first castle was of wood. Mr Round 
remarks that the building of Rochester Castle is fixed, by the conjunction of 
William II. and Lanfranc in its history, to some date between September 
1087 and March 1089. Geoffrey de Mandeville^ p. 339. Probably, therefore, 
it was this new castle which Bishop Odo held against Rufus in 1088. 
Ordericus says that "cum quingentis miiitibus intra Rofensem urbem se 
conclusit." P. 272. 



198 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

reign/ But if what we have maintained above be 
correct the castle of Gundulf was built on a different 
site from that of the castle of William. Nor are we 
without evidence in support of this. What remains of 
the original Norman wall of Gundulfs castle (and 
enough remains to show that the circuit was complete 
in Norman times) does not stand on earthen banks ; 
and this, though not a proof, is a strong suggestion that 
there was no earthen bank belonging to some previous 
castle when Gundulf began his building.^ But further, 
Mr Livett has shown in his paper on Mediceval Rochester^ 
that in order to form a level plateau for the court of the 
castle the ground had to be artificially made up on the 
north and east sides, and in these places the wall rests 
on a foundation of gravel, which has been forcibly 
rammed to make it solid, and which goes through the 
artificial soil to the natural chalk below. Now what 
can this rammed gravel mean but an expedient to avoid 
the danger of building in stone on freshly heaped soil ? 
Had the artificial platform been in existence ever since 
the Conquest, it would have been solid enough to build 
upon without this expense. It is therefore at least 

' It is now attributed to Archbishop William of Corbeuil, to whom 
Henry I. gave the custody of the castle in the twenty-seventh year of his 
reign, with permission to make within it a defence or keep, such as he 
might please. Continuator of Florence^ 1126. Gervase of Canterbury 
also says " idem episcopus turrim egregiam asdificavit." Both passages are 
cited by Hartshorne, y^nr-^.yi^wr;/., xx., 211. Gundulfs castle cost 60/. andean 
scarcely have been more than an enclosing wall with perhaps one mural 
tower. See Mr Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville^ 340, and Mr Livett's paper, 
cited above. 

- Two common friends of Rufus and Gundulf advised the king that in 
return for the grant of the manor of Hedenham and the remission of certain 
moneys, " episcopus Gundulfus, quia in opere casmentario plurimum sciens 
et efficax erat, castrum sibi Hrofense lapideum de suo construeret." Textus 
Roffensis^ p. 146. There was therefore an exchange of land in this affair 
also. 

* Arch. Cantiana^ vol. xxi. 



ROCHESTER 199 

probable that Bishop Gundulfs castle was built on an 
entirely new site. 

It seems also to be clear that the Boley Hill was 
included as an outwork in Bishop Gundulfs plan, for 
the castle ditch is cut through the Roman wall near the 
south gate of the city. ^ Mr Livett remarks that 
King John appears to have used the hill as a point of 
vantage when he attacked the city in 1215, and he 
thinks this was probably the reason why Henry HI.'s 
engineers enclosed it with a stone wall when they 
restored the walls of the clty.^ Henry HI.'s wall has 
been traced all round the city, and at the second south 
gate it turns at right angles, or nearly so, so as to 
enclose Boley HIll.^ It is probable, as Mr Livett 
suggests, that the drawbridge and bretasche, or wooden 
tower, ordered in 1226 for the southern side of 
Rochester Castle,^ were intended to connect the Boley 
Hill court with the main castle. In 1722 the owner 
of the castle (which had then fallen into private hands) 
conveyed to one Philip Brooke, ''that part of the castle 
ditch and ground, as it then lay unenclosed, on Bully 
Hill, being the whole breadth of the hill and ditch 
without the walls of the castle, extending from thence 
to the river Medway."^ 

The general opinion about the Boley Hill is that 

^ Arch. Cantiana^ vol. xxi., p. 49. 

^ There are several entries in the Close Rolls relating to this wall of 
Henry III. in the year 1225. 

^ Mr Beale Poste says that this ancient wall was met with some years 
since in digging the foundations of the Rev. Mr Conway's house, 
standing parallel to the present brick walls and about 2 feet within them. 
"Ancient Rochester as a Roman Station," Arch. Cantiana, ii., 71. The 
Continuator of Gervase of Canterbury tells us (ii., 235) that at the siege of 
Rochester in 1265, Simon de Montfort captured the outer castle up to the 
keep (forinsecum castellum usque ad turrim), and Mr Livett thinks this outer 
castle must have been the Boley Hill. 

* Close Rolls J ii., 98b. '' Hasted's Ke?ti^ iv., 163. 



200 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

it is a Danish earthwork, thrown up by the Danes when 
they besieged the city in 885. But if our contention 
in Chapter IV. is just, the Danish fortifications were 
not mottes, nor anything like them ; and (as has already 
been pointed out) the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle indicates 
the nature of the fortress in this case by its expression, 
''they made a work around themselves";^ that is, it 
was a circumvallation. Moreover, at Rochester the 
Danes would have had to pass under the bridge (which 
is known to have existed both in Roman and Saxon 
times) in order to get to the Boley Hill ; and even if 
their ships were small enough to do this they would 
hardly have been so foolish as to leave a bridge in their 
possible line of retreat. It is therefore far more likely 
that their fastness was somewhere to the north or east 
of the city,^ 

It is a noteworthy fact that up till very recently the 
Boley Hill had a special jurisdiction of its own, under an 
officer called the Baron of the Bully, appointed by the 
Recorder of the city. This appears to date from a 
charter of Edward IV. in 1460, which confirms the 
former liberties of the citizens of Rochester, and ordains 
that they should keep two courts' leet and a court of pie- 
powder annually on the Bullie Hill. The anonymous 
historian of Rochester remarks that it was thought 
that the baron represented the first officer under the 
governor of the castle before the court leet was 
instituted, to whose care the security of the Bullie 
Hill was entrusted.^ This is probably much nearer 
the truth than the theory which would assign such 
thoroughly feudal courts as those of court leet and 

^ " Ymb sastan tha ceastre and worhton other faesten ymb hie selfe." See 
ante^ p. 49, note 2. 

^ Mr Hope suggests the east side, as the north was a marsh. 
^ History <?/" /?(5'i:^(?i"/^r (published by Fisher, 1772), p, 285. 



ROCHESTER— ROCKINGHAM 201 

pie-powder to an imaginary community of Danes resid- 
ing on the Boley Hill. When we compare the case 
of the Boley Hill with the somewhat similar cases 
of Chester and Norwich castles we shall see that what 
took place in Edward IV.'s reign was probably this : 
the separate jurisdiction which had once belonged 
to an abandoned castle site was transferred to the 
citizens of Rochester, but with the usual conservatism of 
mediaeval legislation, it was not absorbed in the jurisdic- 
tion of the city. 

The value of Rochester at the time of the Survey 
had risen from loo^. to 20I} The increase of trade, 
arising from the security of traffic which was provided 
by William's castles on this important route, no doubt 
accounts in great measure for this remarkable rise in 
value. 

Rockingham, Northants (Fig. 29). — Here, also, 
the castle was clearly new in William's reign, as the 
manor was uninhabited (wasta) until a castle was built 
there by his orders, in consequence of which the manor 
produced a small revenue at the time of the Survey.^ 
The motte, now in great part destroyed, was a large 
one, being about 80 feet in diameter at the top ; 
attached to it is a bailev of irreg^ular but rectilateral 
shape (determined by the ground) covering about 3 
acres. There is another large bailey to the S. 
covering 4 acres, formed by cutting a ditch across the 
spur of the hill on which the castle stands, which is 
probably later. The first castle would undoubtedly be 
of wood, and it is probable that King John was the 
builder of the '* exceeding fair and strong" keep which 

1 D. B., i., 56. 

- "Wasta erat quando Rex W. iussit ibi castellum fieri. Modo valet 
36 solidos." D. B., i., 220. 



202 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

stood on the motte In Leland's time/ as there is an entry 
in the Pipe Roll of the thirteenth year of his reign for 
126/. 18^. 6d. for the work of the new tower.^ This 
keep, If Mr Clark is correct, was polygonal, with a 
timber stockade surrounding it. 

Rockingham was only a small manor of one hide in 
Saxon times, though its Saxon owner had sac and soke. 
It stands in a forest district, not near any of the great 
ancient lines of road, and was probably built for a 
hunting seat. 

The value of the manor had risen at the time of the 
Survey.^ 

During the Civil War, the motte of Rockingham was 
fortified in an elaborate manner by the Parliamentarians, 
part of the defences being two wooden stockades : * an 
interesting instance of the use both of mottes and of 
wooden fortifications in comparatively modern warfare. 
Only the north and west sides of this mount now 
remain. 

Old Sarum, Wilts (Fig. 30). — Sir Richard Colt 
Hoare printed in his Ancient Wiltshi7'e a document 
purporting to be an order from Alfred, " King of the 
English," to Leofric, " Earl of Wiltunshire," to maintain 
the castle of Sarum, and add another ditch to it.^ The 
phraseology of the document suggests some doubts of 
its genuineness, and though there would be nothing 

1 "I markid that there is stronge Tower in the Area of the Castelle, and 
from it over the Dungeon Dike is a drawbridge to the Dungeon Toure." 
Itin.^ i., 14. 

2 " In operatione nove turris et nove camere in cast. 126/. \Zs. 6d" 

3 D. B., i., 120. 

^ See the plan reproduced in Wise's Rockingham Castle and the Watsons^ 
p. 66. 

'^ Vol. i., p. 224 : cited by Mr Irving in his valuable paper on Old Sarum 
in Arch. Joum.^ xv., 1859. Sir Richard made a vague reference to an MS. 
in the Cottonian and Bodleian libraries, for which Mr Irving says he has 
searched in vain. 



300. 



Church. H~] 

:i^.- ^ 






,••■ 300 



O 100 100 3oo 



y^eeC. 







400 



Rockingham, Xorthants. 



Fig. 29. 



^Tojoxtv- -02. 



I 



OLD SARUM 203 

improbable in the theory that Alfred reared the outer 
bank of the fortress, recent excavations have shown that 
the place was occupied by the Romans, and therefore 
make it certain that its origin was very much earlier than 
Alfred's time. Moreover, the converofence of several 
Roman roads at this spot suggests the probability of a 
Roman station,^ while the form of the enclosure renders 
an earlier origin likely. Domesday Book does not speak 
of Salisbury as a burgus, and when the burgus of Old 
Sarum is mentioned in later documents it appears to 
refer to a district lying at the foot of the Castle Hill, and 
formerly enclosed with a wall." Nor is it one of the 
boroughs of the Burghal Hidage. But that Sarum was 
an important place in Saxon times is clear from the fact 
that there was a mint there ; and there is evidence of 
the existence of at least four Saxon churches, as well as 
a hospital for lepers.^ 

For more exact knowledge as to the history of this 
ancient fortress we must wait till the excavations now 
going on are finished, but in the meanwhile it seems 
probable that the theory adopted by General Pitt- Rivers 
is correct. He regarded Old Sarum as a British earth- 
work, with an inner castle and outer barbicans added by 
the Normans. After building this castle in the midst of 
it the Normans appear to have considered the outer and 

^ General Pitt-Rivers in his Address to the Salisbury meeting of the 
Archaeological Institute in 1887, says that traces of these roads may still 
be seen. He adds that Old Sarum does not resemble the generality of ancient 
British fortifications, in that the rampart is of the same height all round, 
instead of being lower where the ground is steeper ; this led him to think 
that the original fortress had been modernised in later times. Sir Richard 
Colt Hoare noticed that the ramparts of Sarum were twice as high as those 
of the fine prehistoric camps with which he was acquainted. Ancient 
Wiltshire^ p. 226. 

^ Benson and Hatcher's Old and New Sarum^ p. 604. 

^ Cf. Benson and Hatcher, 63, with Beauties of England and Wales^ xv., 
78. 



204 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

larger fortification too valuable to be given up to the 
public, but retained it under the government of the 
castellan, and treated it as part of the castle. 

There is no mention of the castle of Salisbury in 
Domesday Book, but the bishop is named as the owner 
of the manor. -^ The episcopal see of Sherborne was 
transferred to Sarum in 1076 by Bishop Hermann, in 
accordance with the policy adopted by William L that 
episcopal sees should be removed from villages to 
towns : ^ a measure which in itself is a testimony to the 
importance of Salisbury at that time. The first mention 
of the castle is in the charter of Bishop Osmund, 1091.^ 
The bishop was allowed to lay the foundations of his 
new cathedral within the ancient fortress. As might be 
expected, friction soon arose between the castellans and 
the ecclesiastics ; the castellans claimed the custody of 
the gates, and sometimes barred the canons, whose 
houses seem to have been outside the fortress, from 
access to the church. These quarrels were ended 
eventually by the removal of the cathedral to the new 
town of Salisbury at the foot of the hill. 

The position of the motte of Old Sarum is excep- 
tional, as it stands in the centre of the outer fortress. 
This must be owing to the posi<:ion of the ancient 
vallum, encircling the summit of one of those round, 
gradually sloping hills so common in the chalk ranges, 
which made it necessary to place the motte in the centre, 
because it was the highest part of the ground. The 

^ D. B., i., 66. "Idem episcopus tenet Sarisberie." Part of the land 
which had been held under the bishop was now held by Edward the Sheriff 
the ancestor of the earls of Salisbury. This in itself is a proof that the 
castle was new. See Freeman, A^. C, iv., 797. 

- This policy had been dictated by an oecumenical council. 

^ He gives to the canons of the church two hides in the manor, "et ante 
portam castelli Seriberiensis terram ex utraque parte viae in ortorum domo- 
rumque canonicorum necessitate." M. A., vi., 1294. 










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[To face p. 204. 



OLD SARUM 205 

present excavations have shown that It is in part 
artificial. But though the citadel was thus exception- 
ally placed, the principle that communication with the 
outside must be maintained was carried out ; the motte 
had its own bailey, reaching to the outer vallum. The 
remains of three cross banks still exist, two of which 
must have enclosed the magmiin ballium which is spoken 
of in the Pipe Rolls of Henry II. Probably this bailey 
occupied the south-eastern third of the circle, which 
included the main gateway and the road to the citadel. 
In the ditch on the north side of this enclosure, an 
arched passage, apparently of Norman construction, was 
found in 1795 ; it was doubtless a postern or sallyport.^ 
The main entrance is defended by a separate mount 
with its own ditch, which is conjectured to be of later 
date than the vallum itself. The area of the top of the 
motte is about if acres, a larger size than usual, but not 
larger than that of several other important castles.^ In 
Leland's time there was "much notable ruinous build- 
ing " still remaining of this fortress, and the excavations 
have already revealed the lower portions of some 
splendid walls and gateways, and the basement of a 
late Norman keep which presents some unusual 
features.^ The earthworks, however, bear witness to 
a former wooden stockade both to the citadel and the 
outer enclosure. The top of the motte is still sur- 
rounded by high earthen banks. 

As that great building bishop, Roger of Salisbury 

^ Gentleman^ s Magazine^ lygS' 

- The area of the outer camp is 29^ acres. 

^ It is unlikely that this is the turris mentioned in the solitary Pipe Roll 
of Henry I. "In unum ostium faciendum ad cellarium turris Sarum, 20s." 
This entry is of great interest, as entrances from the outside to the base- 
ment of keeps were exceptional in the 12th century ; but the basement 
entrance of Colchester keep has every appearance of having been added by 
Henry I. 



I 



20G CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

(1099- 1 139), Is said to have environed the castle with a 
new wall/ it would seem likely that he was the first to 
transform the castle from wood to stone. But in Henry 
IL's reign, we find an entry in the Pipe Rolls for 
materials for enclosing the great bailey. An order 
for the destruction of the castle had been issued by 
Stephen,^ but it is doubtful whether it was carried out. 
The sums spent by Henry H. on the castle do not 
amount to more than ^266, 12s. 5d., but the work 
recently excavated which appears to be of his date Is 
very extensive indeed. ^ 

The mention of a small wooden tower in Richard L's 
reign shows that some parts of the defences were still 
of wood at that date.^ Timber and rods for hoarding 
the castle, that Is, for the wooden machicolations placed 
at the tops of towers and walls, were ordered at the end 
of John's reign.* : 

It is not known when the castle was abandoned, but 
the list of castellans ceases in the reign of Henry VL, 
when It was granted to the Stourton family.^ Though 
the earls of Salisbury were generally the custodians of 
Sarum Castle, except In the time of Bishop Roger, it 
was always considered a royal castle, while the manor 
belonged to the bishop.^ It is remarked In the Hundred 
Rolls of Henry III., that no one holds fiefs for ward in 



^ William of Malmesbury, Hist. Nov., ii., 91. 

2 In II 52 ; the writ is given by Benson and Hatcher, p. 32. 

^ " In operatione unius Bretesche in eodem Castro 50s." Pipe Rolls^ 

1 193-4. 

4 "Virgam et mairemium ad hordiandum castrum." Close Rolls, i., 

198b (1215). 

^ Benson and Hatcher, p. 704. 

^ " Dicunt quod castrum cum burgo Veteris Sarum et dominicus burgus 
domini Regis pertinent ad coronam cum advocatione cujusdam ecclesiae 
quae modo vacat." Hundred Rolls, Edward I., cited by Benson and 
Hatcher, p. 802. 



SHREWSBURY 207 

this castle, and that nothing belonged to the castle 
outside the gate/ 

The value of the manor of Salisbury appears to have 
risen very greatly since the Conquest.^ 

Shrewsbury (Fig. 31). — The passage in Domes- 
day Book relating to this town has been called by Mr 
Round one of the most important in the Survey, and it 
is of special importance for our present purpose. ** The 
English burghers of Shrewsbury say that it is very 
grievous to them that they have to pay all the geld 
which they paid in King Edward's time, although the 
castle of the earl occupies [the site of] 51 houses, and 
another 50 are uninhabited."^ It is incomprehensible 
how in the face of such a clear statement as this, that 
the new castle occupied the site of fifty-one houses, any- 
one should be found gravely to maintain that the motte 
at Shrewsbury was an English work ; for if the 
motte stood there before, what was the clearance of 
houses made for ? The only answer could be to 
enlarge the bailey. But this is exactly what the 
Norman would not wish to do ; he would want only 
a small area for the small force at his disposal for 
defence. Shrewsbury was certainly a borough (that 
is, a fortified town) in Anglo - Saxon times ; probably 
it was one of the towns fortified by Ethelfleda, though 
it is not mentioned by name in the list of those 
towns furnished by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicled Its 

^ Cited by Benson and Hatcher, p. 802 

- D. B., 66a, I. The value T. R. E. is not, however, very distinctly 
stated. 

^ " Dicunt Angligenses burgenses de Sciropesberie multum grave sibi 
esse quod ipsi reddunt totum geldum sicut reddebant T. R. E. quamvis 
castellum comitis occupaverit 51 masuras et alias 50 masurae sunt wastae." 
D. B., i., 252. 

* Some writers, such as Mr Kerslake and Mr C. S. Taylor, have supposed 
Sceargate to mean Shrewsbur>'. 



208 CASTLES OF THE NOllMANS IN ENGLAND 

ancient walls were certainly only of earth and wood, 
for a writ of 1231 says that the old stockade and the 
old bretasche of the old ditch of the town of Shrews- 
bury are to be granted to the burghers for strengthen- 
ing the new ditch.^ 

The castle of Shrewsbury was built on the neck of 
the peninsula on which the town stands, and on the line 
of the town walls. The oval motte, which still remains, 
stands, as usual, on the line of the castle banks, and 
slopes steeply down to the Severn on one side. Its 
nearness to the river made it liable to damage by floods. 
Thus we find Henry II. spending 5/. on the repair of 
the motte,^ and in Edward I.'s reign the abbot's mill is 
accused of having caused damage to the extent of 60 
marks to the motte. But the men of the hundred 
exonerate the mill, and from another passage the blame 
appears to lie on the fall of a great wooden tower. ^ 
This can hardly have been other than the wooden keep 
on the motte, and thus we learn the interesting fact that 
as late as Edward I.'s reign the castle of Shrewsbury 

^ Mandatum est vicecomiti Salopie quod veterem palum et veterem 
bretaschiam de vetere fossato ville Salopie faciat habere probos homines 
ville Salopie ad novum fossatum ejusdem ville, quod fieri fecerant, efforci- 
andum et emendendum. Close Rolls, 1231, p. 508. The honest men of the 
city are also to have "palum et closturam" from the king's wood of Liche- 
wood "ad hirucones circa villam Salopie faciendas ad ipsam villam clau- 
dendam." Ibid. Hirucones are the same as heritones or hericias, a defence 
of stakes on the counterscarp of the ditch. 

2 "In op. castelli de Salopie in mota 5/." Pipe Rolls, 19 Henry II., 
p. 108. 

3 " Dampnum mote castri Salopp' ad valenciam 60 marcarum, sed non 
recolligunt totum evenisse propter molendinum abbatis Salopp', quia 30 
annis elapsis mota castri fuit fere deteriofata sicut nunc est." Hundred 
Rolls, ii., 80. " Dicunt quod unus magnus turris ligneus {sic) qui aedificatur 
in castro Salopp' corruit in terram tempore domini Uriani de S. Petro tunc 
vicecomitis, et meremium ejus turris tempore suo et temporibus aliorum 
vicecomitum postea ita consumitur et destruitur quod nihil de illo remansit, 
in magnum damnum domini Regis et deteriorationem eiusdem castri." 
Ibid., p. 105. 





O 190 goo 30 

Feet. 







Skipsf.a, Yorks. 



Fig. 31, 



[To face p. 208. 



i! 



SHREWSBURY— SKIPSEA 209 

had only a wooden keep. The present tower on the 
motte is the work of Telford. 

The bailey of Shrewsbury Castle is roughly semi- 
lunar and covers nearly an acre. The walls stand on 
banks, which shows that the first wall was of timber. 
The Norman entrance arch seems to render it probable 
that it was in Henry II.'s reign that stone walls were 
first substituted for a wooden stockade, and the Pipe 
Rolls contain several entries of sums spent by Henry on 
this castle.^ But the first mention of stone in connec- 
tion with the castle is in the reign of Henry XW? In 
the reign of Edward I., a jarola or wooden wall, which 
had been raised above the outer ditch in the time of 
the Barons' War, was replaced by a stone wall.'^ This 
perhaps refers to the second bailey, now destroyed, 
which lay to the south of the castle. In the time of 
Charles I. the castle still had a wooden palisade on the 
counterscarp of the ditch.* The two large drum towers 
on the walls, and the building between them, now 
converted into a modern house, belong to a much later 
period than the walls. The area of the present castle, 
including the motte, is ^ of an acre. 

The value of the town of Shrewsbury had risen 
since the Conquest. 

Skipsea, Yorks (Fig. 31). — There is no mention 
i of this castle in Domesday Book, but the chronicle of 
; Meaux Abbey tells us that it was built by Drogo de 

^ Pipe Rolls^ II Henry II., p. 89; 12 Henry II., p. 59; 14 Henry II., 
p. 93 ; 15 Henry II., p. 108 ; 20 Henry II., p. 108. 

2 Payment to those who dig stone for the castle of Shrewsbury, Close 
Rolls^ i., 622b. This is in 1224. There is also a payment of 50/. for works 
at the castle in 1223. Ibid.^ 533^). 

2 Hundred Rolls^ ii., 80. A jarola or garuillum is a stockade ; 
apparently derived from a Gallic word for oak^ and may thus correspond to 
an oak paling. See Ducange. 

* Owen and Blakeway's History of Shrewsbury^ i., 450. 

O 



210 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Bevrere in the reign of William L^ This chronicle is 
not indeed contemporary, but its most recent editor 
regards it as based on some much earlier document. 
It was the key of the great manor of Holderness, which 
the Conqueror had given to Drogo, but which Drogo 
forfeited by murdering his wife, probably on this very 
site. The situation of Skipsea is remarkable, but the 
original plan of Kenilworth Castle presented a close 
parallel to it. The motte, which is 46 feet high, and 
i of an acre in space on top, is separated from 
the bailey by a level space, which was formerly the 
Mere of Skipsea, mentioned in documents of the 13th 
century, which reckon the take of eels in this mere as a 
source of revenue.^ The motte thus formed an island in 
the mere, but as an additional defence — perhaps when 
the mere began to get shallow — it was surrounded by a 
bank and ditch of its own. No masonry is to be seen 
on the motte now, except a portion of a wing wall going 
down it. It is connected with its bailey on the other 
side of the mere by a causeway which still exists. This 
bailey is of very unusual size, covering S^ acres ; its < 
banks still retain the name of the Baile Welts, and I 
one of the entrances is called the Baile Gate. 
Skipsea Brough, which no doubt represents the former 
burgus of Skipsea, is outside this enclosure, and has ; 
no defences of its own remaining. A mandate of 
Henry III. in 1221, ordered the complete destruction 
of this castle,^ and it was no doubt after this 
that the earls of Albemarle, who had succeeded 
to Drogo's estates, removed their caput baronice to 
Burstwick.^ 

^ Chronicon de Melsa, R. S. See Preface, p. Ixxii. 
2 Yorks Inquisitions (Yorks Rec. Sen), i., 83. 
^ Rot. Lit. Claus.^ i., 474b. 
* Poulson's History of Holderiiess^ i., 457. 



STAFFORD 211 

The value of the manor of Cleeton, in which Skipsea 
lies, had fallen at Domesday.^ 

Stafford (Fig. 32). — The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 
says that Ethelfieda of Mercia built the burh of Stafford ; 
and consequently we find that both in King Edward 
and King William's time Stafford was a burgus, or 
fortified town. Florence of Worcester, who is con- 
sidered to have used a superior copy of the Chronicle as 
the foundation of his work, says that Ethelfieda built an 
arx on the north bank of the Sowe in 914. Ai^x, in 
our earlier chronicles, is often only a bombastic expres- 
sion for a walled town, as, for example, when Ethel werd 
says that Ethelfleda's body was buried in St Peter's 
porch in the arx of Gloucester.^ But the statement led 
many later writers, such as Camden, to imagine that 
Ethelfieda built a toiver in the town of Stafford ; and 
these imaginings have created such a tangled skein of 
mistake that we must bespeak our readers' patience 
while we attempt to unravel it. 

Domesday Book only mentions Stafford Castle under 
J the manor of Chebsey, a possession of Henry de Ferrers. 
Its words are: "To this manor belonged the land of 
Stafford, in which the king commanded a castle to be 
built, which is now destroyed."^ Ordericus also says 
that the king placed a castle at Stafford, on his return 
from his third visit to the north, in 1070.^ Now the 
language of Domesday appears to us to say very plainly 
that in the manorial rearrangement which followed the 
I Conquest some land was taken out of the manor of 
Chebsey, which lies immediately to the south of the 

^ D. B., i., 323b. 2 Ethelwerd, anno 910. 

^ " Ipse Henricus tenet Cebbeseio. Ad hoc manerium pertinuit terra de 
Stadford, in qua rex precepit fieri castellum, quod modo est destructum." 
D. B., i., 249a. 

* " Apud Estafort alteram [munitionem] locavit." Ord. Vit.^ p. 199. 



212 CASTLES OF THP: NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

borough of Stafford, to furnish a site for a royal castle.^ 

It is exactly in this position that we now find a large 

oblong motte, similar to the other mottes of the 

Conquest, and having the usual bailey attached to it. 

It lies about a mile and a half south-west of the town, 

near the main road leading into Shropshire. 

The position was an important one, as the castles of 

Staffordshire formed a second line of defence against the 

North Welsh, as well as a check to the great palatinate 

earls of Shropshire.^ The motte itself stood on high 

ground, commanding a view of twenty or thirty miles 

round, and both Tutbury and Caus castles could 

be seen from it. Between it and the town lies a stretch 

of flat ground which has evidently been a swamp 

formerly, and which explains the distance of the castle 

from the town ; while the fact that it lies to the south of 

the Sowe shows that it has no connection with Ethel- 

fleda's work. There is no dispute that this motte was 

the site of the later baronial castle of Stafford, the castle 

besieged and taken in the Civil War ; the point we have 

to prove is that it was also the castle of Domesday 

Book.« 

I 

1 It should be said that Mr Eyton interprets the passage differently, 
and takes it to mean that the castle was built on land in the borough 
of Stafford belonging to the manor of Chebsey. But he himself 
says that "the site of Stafford Castle, within the liberties, though not 
within the borough of Stafford, would suggest a royal foundation " ; and 
he believes this castle (the one on the motte) to have been the one 
garrisoned by Henry I. and made a residence by Henry H. Domesday 
Studies^ p. 21. 

"^ Salt. Arch. Soc. Trans. ^ vol. viii., " The Manor of Castre or Stafford," 
by Mr Mazzinghi, a paper abounding in valuable information, to which the 
present writer is greatly indebted. 

^ In the addenda to Mr Eyton's Domesday of Staffordshire (p. 135) the 
learned editor says there are two Stafford castles mentioned in Domesday, 
in two different hundreds. We have carefully searched through the whole 
Stafford account, and except at Burton and Tutbury, there is no other castle 
mentioned in Staffordshire but this one at Chebsey. 









476^ ^ 



.00 ^oo"*"»''^..<ov"' >'V^^ -- 



o .00 200 "'''\,;\\y>' 



Feet. 




Stafford. 



Tam WORTH, Staffs. 




'O 100 200 300 y^h 
Stanton Holgate, Salop. 



,^^vv»>"'"i>,imj 




o 100 200 

Feet 

TiCKHILL, YORKS. 



Fig. 12. 



[To face 2^. 212. 



STAFFORD 213 

If the first castle of Stafford was of earth and wood, 
like most of William's castles, there would be nothing 
wonderful in its having many destructions and many 
resurrections. This castle was clearly a royal castle, 
from the language of Domesday Book. As a royal 
castle it would be committed to the custody of the sheriff, 
who appears to have been Robert de Stafford,^ ancestor 
of the later barons of Stafford, and brother of Ralph de 
Todeni, one of the great nobles of the Conquest. Ralph 
joined the party of Robert Curthose against Henry I. in 
iioi, and it is conjectured that his brother Robert was 
involved in the same rebellion, for in that year we find 
the castle held for the king by William Pantolf, a trusty 
companion of the Conqueror.^ It is very unlikely that 
this second castle of Stafford was on a different site from 
the one which had been destroyed ; and an ingenious 
j conjecture of Mr Mazzinghi's helps us to identify it with 
I the castle on the motte. In that castle, when it again 
1 emerges into light in the reign of Henry II., we find a 
I chapel dedicated to St Nicholas, which Robert de 
Stafford gives to the abbey of Stone, and the king 
! confirms the gift.^ The worship of St Nicholas came 
greatly into fashion after the translation of his remains 
from Asia Minor to Bari, in Italy, in 1087. William 
Pantolf visited the shrine at Bari, got possession of 
some of the relics of St Nicholas, and with great 
reverence deposited them in his own church of Noron, 
in Normandy.* It is therefore extremely probable that 
Pantolf founded the chapel of St Nicholas in Stafford 

^ Dugdale conjectures that Robert was sheriff of Staffordshire. He had 
large estates round the town of Stafford. Eyton, Staffordshire^ p. 61. 

2 Mazzinghi, Salt Arch. Soc. Trans., viii., 6 ; Eyton, Domesday Studies^ 
p. 20. 

^ MonasHcon, vi., 223 : " Ecclesiam S. Nicholai in castello de Stafford." 

* Ordericus, vii., 12. See also vii., 13, p. 220 (ed. Prdvost). 



214 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Castle during the time that the castle was in his custody.^ 
But about the situation of the chapel of St Nicholas 
there is no doubt, as its history is traceable down to the 
1 6th century. It stood in the bailey of the castle 
outside the town. This castle was therefore certainly 
identical with that of Henry IL, and most probably 
with that of Henry L and William L 

So far, as we have seen, Stafford Castle was a royal 
castle. It is true that in the reign of Henry II.'s 
predecessor, Stephen, we find the .castle again in the 
hands of a Robert de Stafford, who speaks of it as 
''castellum meum."^ Apparently the troubles of 
Stephen's reign afforded an opportunity to the family of 
the first Norman sheriff to get the castle again into their 
hands. But under the stronger rule of Henry II. the 
crown recovered its rights, and the gift of the chapel in 
the castle evidently could not be made without the 
consent of the king. The gaol which Henry II. caused 
to be made in Stafford was doubtless in this castle.^ 
John repaired the castle,* and ordered bretasches, or 
wooden towers, to be made in the forest of Arundel, 
and sent to Stafford:^ a statement which gives us an 
insight into the nature of the castle in John's reign. 
But it was the tendency of sheriffdoms to become 
hereditary, as Dr Stubbs has pointed out,^ and this 
seems to have been the case at Stafford. In the reiefn 

^ Mazzinghi, Salt Arch, Soc. Trans.,, viii., 22. 

^ In a charter to Stone Abbey, Salt Collections,, vol. ii. That the castle 
he speaks of was the one outside the town is proved by his references to 
land "extra burgum." 

^ The Pipe Roll contains several entries relating to this gaol at Stafford. 
It is clear from several of the documents given by Mr Mazzinghi that the 
king's gaol of Stafford and the king's gaol of the castle of Stafford are 
equivalent expressions. 

•* Pipe Rolls, 2 John. ^ Close Rolls, i., 69. 

^ Constitutional History, i., 272. 



! 



STAFFORD 215 

of Edward I. a local jury decided that Nicholas, Baron 
of Stafford, held the castle of Stafford from the king in 
capite, by the service of three and a half knights' fees ;^ 
and in 1348, Ralph, Baron of Stafford, obtained a 
license from Edward III. ''to fortify and crenellate his 
mavises of Stafford and Madlee w^th a wall of stone and 
lime, and to make castles thereof"" The indenture 
made with the mason a year previously Is still extant, 
and states that the castle Is to be built upon the vioele 
in the manor, whereby the motte is evidently meant.^ 
Besides, the deed is dated "at the Chastel of Stafford," 
showinor that the new castle of stone and lime was on 

o 

the site of an already existing castle. 

We might spin out further evidence of the identity 
of the site of William's castle with that of the present 
one, from the name of the manor of Castel, which sfrew 
up around it, displacing the equally suggestive name of 
Montvllle, which we find in Domesday Book.^ Against 
the existence of another castle In the town we have the 
absence of any such castle In William Smith's plan of 
1588; the silence of Speed and Leland, who only 
mention the present castle ;^ and the statement of Plot, 
j who wrote about the end of the 17th century, that ''he 
could not hear any footsteps remaining " of a castle in 
Stafford.^ We may therefore safely conclude that it was 
only due to the fancy of some Elizabethan antiquary 
that in an old map of that time a spot to the south- 

I ^ Cited in Salt Arch. Soc. Trans.., vi., pt. i., 258. 

2 Patent Rolls., 22 Edward iii., cited by Mazzinghi, p. 80. 

1^ Salt Arch. Soc. Trans.., viii., 122. It was undoubtedly at this time 
that the oblong stone keep on the motte, which is described in an escheat of 
Henry's VIII.'s reign, was built. 
* Salt Arch. Coll.., viii., 14. 

^ Speed's Theatre of Britain; Leland, Itin.., vii., 26. 
^ The Stafford escheat of Henry VIII.'s reign, which describes the town, 
I also makes no mention of any castle in the town. Mazzinghi, p. 105. 



'I 



1>16 CASTI.ES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

west of the town Is marked with the Inscription, ** The 
old castle, built by Edward the Elder, and in memorle 
fortified with reel walls." ^ j 

The value of Stafford town had risen at the time of 
the Survey, as the king had 7/. for his share, which 
would make the whole revenue to king and earl 10/. lOi"., 
as against 9/. before the Conquest. The property of 
the canons of Stafford had risen from £1 to jCs.^ I 

The area of the bailey is if acres. ! 

Stamford, Lincoln and Northants. — This was one 
of the boroughs fortified by Edward the Elder, and 
consequently we find it a royal burgus at the time of the 
Survey. But Edward's borough, the Chronicle tell us, 
was on the south side of the Welland ; the northern 
borough, on the other side, may have been the work of 
the Danes, as Stamford was one of the towns of the 
Danish confederacy of the Five Boroughs. The 
Norman castle and its motte are on the north side, and 
five niansiones were destroyed for the slte.^ There is at 
present no appearance of masonry on the motte, which 
is partly cut away, and what remains of the castle wall 
is of the 13th century. It is therefore probable that the 
turris, or keep, which surrendered to Henry II. in 11 53, 
was of wood.* Henry gave the castle to Richard 
Humet, constable of Normandy, in 1155.^ It was a 

^ Salt Arch. Trans. ^ viii., 231. The mistake may possibly have arisen 
from the fact that a fine castellated gateway, shown in W. Smith's map 
{Description of England), stood on the south-west wall of the town, close to 
the spot where Speed's map marks a Castle Hill. 

^ There must be some error in the first instalment of the Stafford revenue 
in Domesday, which says that the king and earl have 7/. between them, as it 
is contradicted by the later statement. D. B., i., 246a and 247b, 2. 

2 There were 141 mansiones^ T. R. E., "et modo totidem sunt prseter 5 
quae propter operationem castelli sunt wastae." From a passage in the 
Domesday of Nottingham it would seem that a mansio was a group of houses. 

* Gervase of Canterbury.^ i., 156, R. S. 

^ Peck's Antiquarian Annals of Stamford ; he gives the charter, p. 17. 



STAINIFORD— STANTON 217 

very exceptional thing that Henry should thus alienate 
a royal castle, and special circumstances must have 
moved him to this act. The castle was destroyed in 
Richard III.'s time, and the materials given to the 
convent of the Carmelite Friars. It appears to have 
been within the town walls, with a bailey stretching 
down to the river ; this bailey is quadrangular. An 
inquisition of 1341 states that "the site of the castle 
contains 2 acres." ^ 

Stamford had risen enormously in value since the 
Conquest. ''In King Edward's time it paid 15/. ; now, 
it pays {or feorm 50/., and for the whole of the king's 
dues it now pays 28/. " 

Stanton, Stanton Long, in Shropshire (Fig. 32). — 
At the time of the Survey, the Norman Helgot was Lord 
of Corve Dale, and had his castle at Stanton.^ The 
castle was afterwards known as Helgot's Castle, corrupted 
into Castle Holdgate. The site has been much altered 
by the building of a farmhouse in the bailey, but the 
motte still exists, high and steep, with a ditch round 
about half its circumference ; there are some traces of 
masonry on the top. One side of the bailey ditch is 
still visible, and a mural tower of Edwardian style has 
been incorporated with the farmhouse. The exact area 
cannot now be calculated, but it can hardly have 
exceeded 2^ acres. The manor of Stanton was an 

^ Cited in Nevinson's "Notes on the History of St-zmiord " Journ. Brit. 
Arch. Ass., xxxv. 

- "T. R. E. dabat Stanford 15/. ; modo dat ad firmam 50/. De omni 
consuetudine regis modo dat 28/." 

^ " Ibi habet Helgot castellum, et 2 carucas in dominio, et 4 servos, et 
3 villanos, et 3 bordarios, et i Francigenam cum 3^ carucis. Ibi ecclesia 
et presbyter. T. R. E. valebat 18 solidos ; modo 25 solidos. Wastam 
invenit." D. B., i., 258b. There are some fragments of Norman work in 
the church, which is chiefly Early English, doubtless of the same date as 
the mural tower of the castle. 



T! 



I 



218 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

agglomeration of four small manors which had been 
held by different proprietors in Saxon times, so It was 
not the centre of a soke. The value of the manor had * 
risen. 

Tamworth, Stafford (Fig. 32). — Although Tam- 
worth Castle is not mentioned In Domesday Book, It 
must have been In existence In the nth century, as a 
charter of the Empress Matilda mentions that Robert 
le Despenser, brother of Urso d'Abetot, had formerly 
held this castle ; ^ now Urso d'Abetot was a con- 
temporary of the Conqueror, and so must his brother 
have been. Tamworth Castle stands on a motte 50 feet 
high, and 100 feet In diameter across the top, according 
to Mr Clark. It is an interesting Instance of what Is 
commonly called a shell keep, with a stone tower ; one 
of the instances which suggest that the shell did not 
belong to a different type of castle to the tower, but was 
simply a ward wall, which probably at first enclosed a 
wooden tower. The tower and wall (or chemise) are 
probably late Norman, but the remarkable wing wall 
(there Is only one, instead of the usual two) which runsi 
down the motte is entirely of herring-bone work, and I 
may be as old as Henry I.'s time.^ A bailey court, , 
which cannot have been large, lay between the motte 
and the river Tame, but its outline cannot now be 
determined, owing to the encroachments of buildings. 
Tamworth is about a mile from the great Roman road 
known as Watling Street. We have already referred 
to the fortification of the bzirh here by Ethelfleda;^ 

^ Stapleton's Introduction to Rot. Scac. Normannice^ vol. ii. ■ ' 

^ It used to be supposed that herring-bone work was a Saxon sign, and 

this furnished an additional claim to the Saxon origin of this castle ; but it 

is now known that herring-bone work only occurs in the later Saxon work, 

and is far more common in Norman. See note^ p. 136. 

^ See ante^ p. 34. 



TICKHILL 219 

probably she only restored walls or banks which had 
existed before round this ancient capital of Mercia. 

The value of the manor of Tamworth is not eiven 
in Domesday Book. 

TiCKHiLL, Yorks (Fig. 32). — The name Tickhill does 
not occur in Domesday, but it is covered by that of 
Dadesley, the manor in which this castle was built : a 
name which appears to have gone out of use when the 
I hill was thrown up. There can be no doubt that it was 
the castle of Roger de Busli, one of the most richly 
endowed of William's tenants-in-chief, as it is mentioned 
as such by Ordericus.^ He calls it the castle of Blythe, 
a name which it probably received because Blythe was 
the most important place near, and Dadesley was so 
I insignificant. Florence of Worcester, when describing 
the same events, calls the castle Tykehill. The remains 
furnish an excellent specimen of the earthworks of this 
class. The motte is "j^ feet high, and its area on top 
about 80 feet in diameter ; about a third of it is natural, 
the rest artificial. Only a slight trace remains of the 
ditch separating it from the oval bailey, which covers 
2 acres. The foundations of a decagonal tower, built 
in the reign of Henry H., are still to be seen on the top." 
The bailey retains its banks on the scarp, surmounted 
now by a stone curtain, which, along with the older part 
of the gatehouse, is possibly of the time of Henry I.^ 
The outer ditch is about 30 feet broad, and is still full 
of water in parts. On the counterscarp a portion of the 

^ Ordericus, xi., ch. iii. 

^ There are three entries for the works of the turns at Tickhill in the 
Pipe Rolls of 1 178 and 1179, amounting to £121, 12s. 5d. 

^ Pipe Roll^ 31 Henry I., 33, 36. Expenses for work at the wall of the 
icastle are mentioned. Ordericus says that Robert Belesme fortified the 
castle of Blythe at the time of his rebellion in i lor, but he also says that it 
had belonged to Roger de Rusli. Hist. Ecc.^ iv., 33 ; xi., 3. 



220 CASTT.ES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGT.ANI) 

bank remains. This bank carried a wooden palisade 
when the castle was besieged by Cromwell/ The site 
is not naturally defensible ; it is about three and a half 
miles from the northern Roman road. 

The value of the manor of Dadesley had risen at the 
time of the Survey.^ The stone buildings which once 
stood in the bailey have been transformed into a modern 
house. 

ToNBRiDGE, Kent (Fig. 2,3)- — This notable castle, the 
first English seat of the powerful family who afterwards 
took their name from Clare in Suffolk, is first mentioned 
in 1088, when it was stormed by William Rufus and his 
English subjects, who had adopted his cause against the 
supporters of his brother Robert.^ The castle was one 
of great importance at several crises in English history ; 
but it began as a wooden keep on a motte, and the 
stone shell which now crowns this motte cannot be 
earlier than the 12th century, and judging by its 
buttresses, is much later. The castle stands outside the 
town of Tonbridge, separated from it by moats which 
were fed from the river. The smaller bailey of ij acres, 
probably the original one, is square, with rounded 
corners. The palatial gatehouse, of the 13th or 14th 
century, is a marked feature of this castle. There 
appears to have been only one wing wall down the 
motte to the bailey, but a second one was not needed, 
owing to the position of the motte with regard to the 
river. 

The value of the manor of Hadlow, in which 
Tonbridge lay, was stationary at Domesday/ It 1 
belonged to the see of Canterbury, and was held by ) 

1 Vicar's Parliamentary Chronicle^ quoted by Hunter, South Yorks^ ii., 235. 
^ D. B., i., 319a. ^ A.-S. C. in anno. 

< D. B., i., 76. 




ToNBRiDGE, Kent. 




TOTNES, DeVOX. 



Fig. 33- 



[To face p. 220. 



TOTNES 221 

Richard de Bienfaite, ancestor of the House of Clare, 
as a tenant of the see. 

ToTNES, Devonshire (Fig. 2^3)- — The castle of 
Totnes belonged to Judhael, one of King William's 
men, who has been already mentioned under Barnstaple. 
This castle is not noticed in Domesday Book, but its 
existence in the nth century is made certain by a 
charter of Judhael's giving land de/ow his castle to the 
Benedictine priory which he had founded at Totnes : 
a charter certainly of the Conqueror's reign, as it 
contains a prayer for the health of King William.^ The 
site was an important one ; Totnes had been one of the 
boroughs of the Burghal Hidage ; it was at the head of 
a navigable river, and was the point where the ancient 
Roman (?) road from Devonshire to Bath and the North 
began its course.^ The motte of the castle is very high 
and precipitous, and has a shell on top, which is perfect 
up to the battlements, and appears to be rather late 
Norman. This keep is entered in a very unusual way, 
by a flight of steps leading up from the bailey, deeply 
sunk in the upper part into the face of the motte, so as 
to form a highly defensible passage. Two wing walls 
run down to the walls of the bailey. There is at present 
no ditch between the motte and the bailey. The whole 
i area of the work is f acre. It stands in a very defensible 
situation on a spur of hill overlooking the town, and lies 
just outside the ancient walls. 

The value of the town of Totnes had risen at 
Domesday.^ 

The Tower of London. — Here, as at Colchester, 
there is no motte, because the original design was that 
there should be a stone keep. Ordericus tells us that 

^ M. A., iv., 630. ''^ Leland is responsible for this last statement. 

3 D. B., i., io8b. 



222 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

after the submission of London to William the Conqueror 
he stayed for a few days in Barking while certain 
fortifications in the city were being finished, to curb the 
excitability of the huge and fierce population.^ What 
these fortifications were we shall never know, but we 
may imagine they were earthworks of the usual Norman 
kind.^ Certainly the great keep familiarly known as the 
White Tower was not built in a few days ; it does not 
appear to have been even begun till some eleven years 
later, when Gundulf, a monk celebrated for his archi- 
tectural skill, was appointed to the see of Rochester. 
Gundulf was the architect of the Tower,^ and it must 
therefore have been built during his episcopate, which 
lasted from 1077-1108.^ In 1097 we read that 
**many shires which owe works to London were greatly 
oppressed in making the wall (weall) round the Tower." ^ 
This does not necessarily mean a stone wall, but 
probably It does, as Gundulfs tower can hardly have 
been without a bank and palisade to its bailey. 

As the Tower In Its general plan represents the 
type of keep which was the model for all succeeding 

^ " Egressus Lundonice rex dies aliquot in propinquo loco Bercingio 
morabatur, dum firmamenta quasdam in urbe contra mobilitatem ingentis et 
feri populi perficerentur." P. 165. Ordericus is quoting from William of 
Poitiers. There was formerly a Roman camp at Barking, and the motte 
which William hastily threw up on its rampart to defend his sojourn still 
remains. See Victoria History of Essex. 

" Mr Harold Sands suggests to me that the first fortification may simply 
have been a bank and palisade across the angle of the Roman wall, with 
perhaps a wooden keep, and that the great fire in London in 1077 deter- 
mined William to build a stone keep. 

^ Hearne's Texttts Roffe7isis, 212. "Idem Gundulfus, ex precepto Regis 
Willielmi Magni, praeesset operi magns turris Londonise." 

^ The building of stone keeps was generally spread over several years, - 
as we learn from the Pipe Rolls. Richard I. built his celebrated keep of 
Chateau Gaillard in one year, but he himself regarded this as an archi- 
tectural feat. "Estne bella, filia mea de uno anno," he said in delight. 

^ A.-S C. in an?io. 



TOWER OF LONDON 223 

stone keeps up to the end of the 12th century, it seems 
appropriate here to give some description of its main 
features. Its resemblance to the keep of Colchester, 
which also was a work of William I.'s reign, is very- 
striking.^ Colchester -is the larger of the two, but 
the Tower exceeds in size all other English keeps, 
i measuring 118 x 98 feet at its base.' As it has 
been altered or added to in every century, its details 
I are peculiarly difficult to trace, especially as the 
\ ordinary visitor is not allowed to make a thorough 
; examination.^ Thus much, however, is certain : neither 
iof the two present entrances on the ground floor is 
' original ; the first entrance was on the first floor, some 
i 25 feet above the ground, at the S.W. angle of the 
[south side, and has been transformed into a window. 
There was no entrance to the basement, but it was 
only reached by the grand staircase, which is enclosed 
in a round turret at the N.E. angle. There were 
two other stairs at the N.W. and S.W. angles, but 
i these only began on the first floor. The basement 
[is divided by a cross wall, which is carried up to 
j the third storey. There are at present three storeys 
/-above the basement. The basement, which is now 
I [vaulted in brick, was not originally vaulted at all, 

\ ^ Round's History of Colchester^ ch. iv. 

2 The keep of Norwich Castle measures 100x95 feet; Middleham, 
100 X 80 ; Dover, 95 x 90. These are the largest existing keeps in England, 
next to the Tower and Colchester. The destroyed keep of Duffield 
measured 99 x 93 feet ; that of Bristol is believed to have been 1 10 x 95. 

^ The reader will find little help for the structural history of the Tower 
in most of the works which call themselves Histories of the Tower of 
London. The plan of these works generally is to skim over the structural 
history as quickly as possible, perhaps with the help of a few passages from 
Clark, and to get on to the history of the prisoners in the Tower. For the 
description in the text, the writer is greatly indebted to Mr Harold Sands, 
F.S.A., who has made a careful study of the Tower, and whose monograph 
upon it, it is hoped, will shortly appear. 



224 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

except the south-eastern chamber, under the crypt of 
the chapel. 

The first floor, like the basement, is divided into 
three rooms, as, in addition to the usual cross wall, the 
Tower has a branch cross wall to its eastern section, 
which is carried up to the top. This floor was formerly- 
only lit by loopholes ; Clark states that there were two 
fireplaces in the east wall, but there is some doubt 
about this. The S.E. room contained the crypt 
of the chapel, which was vaulted. It is commonly 
supposed that the rooms on the first floor were 
occupied by the guards of the keep. In the account 
which we have quoted from Lambert of Ardres, the 
first floor is said to be the lord's habitation, and 
the upper storey that of the guards ; so that there 
seems to have been no invariable rule.-^ No special 
room was allotted to the kitchen, as in time of 
peace at any rate, the lord of the castle and all his 
retainers took their meals in a great hall in the bailey 
of the castle.'^ The ceilings of the two larger rooms 
of this floor are now supported by posts, an arrange- 
ment which is probably modern, as the present posts 
certainly are.^ 

The second floor contains the chapel, which in many 
keeps is merely an oratory, but is here of unusual size. 
Its eastern end is carried out in a round apse, a feature 
which is also found at Colchester, but is not usual in 

^ Ante^ p. 89. 

2 Many of the larger keeps contain rooms quite spacious enough to have 
served as banqueting halls, and it is a point of some difficulty whether they 
v^'ere built to be used as such. But as late as the 14th century. Piers 
Ploughman rebukes the new custom which was growing up of the noble and 
his family taking their meals in private, and leaving the hall to their retainers. 
Every castle seems to have had a hall in the bailey. 

^ Mr Sands says the main floors are not of too great a span to carry any 
ordinary weight. 



TOWER OF LONDON 225 

Norman keeps/ It Is a singularly fine specimen of an 
early Norman chapel. This floor probably contained 
the royal apartments ; It was lighted by windows, not 
loops. Both the eastern and western rooms had fire- 
places ; the eastern room goes by the name of the 
Banqueting Chamber. 

The third storey is on a level with the triforium of 
the chapel.^ This triforium is continued all round the 
keep as a mural passage, and It has windows only 
slightly smaller than those of the floor below. These 
mural galleries are found In most Important keeps. As 
their windows were of larger size than the loops which 
lit the lower floors, It is possible that they may have 
been used for defence, either for throwing down missiles 
or for shooting with bows and arrows. But no near aim 
could be taken without a downward splay to the window, 
and the bows of the nth and 12th centuries were 
Incapable of a long aim. A plausible theory is that 
they were Intended for the march of sentinels.^ 

The masonry of the Tower is of Kentish rag, with 
ashlar quoins. In mediaeval times it had a forebuilding, 
with a round stair turret, which is shown In some old 
views ; but it may reasonably be doubted whether this 
was an original feature. 

As regards the ground plan of the castle as a whole, 

^ The keep of Pevensey Castle, the basement of which has been recently 
uncovered, has no less than four apsidal projections, one of which rests on 
the solid base of a Roman mural tower. But this keep is quite an excep- 
tional building. See Excavations at Pevensey^ Second Report, by H. Sands. 

2 Mr Sands has conjectured that the third floor may be an addition, and 
that the second storey was originally open up to the roof and not com- 
municating with the mural passage except by stairs. This was actually the 
case at Bamborough keep, and at Newcastle and Rochester the mural 
gallery opens into the upper part of the second storey by inner windows. 

^ Until the end of the 12th century the roofs of keeps were gabled and 
not flat, but probably there was usually a parapet walk for sentinels or 
, archers. 

P 



% 



226 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

it is now concentric, but was not so originally. The "^ 
Tower was certainly placed in the S.E. angle of the 
Roman walls of London, and very near the east wall, J 
portions of which have been discovered.^ The conversion | 
of the castle into one of the concentric type was the J 
work of later centuries, and the history of its develop- 
ment has still to be traced.^ 

Trematon, Cornwall (Fig. 34). — *' The Count [of 
Mortain] has a castle there and a market, rendering loi 
shillings."^ Two Cornish castles are mentioned in 
Domesday, and both of them are only on the borders 
of that wild Keltic country ; but while Launceston is 
inland, Trematon guards an inlet on the south coast. 
The position of this castle is extremely strong by nature, 
at the end of a high headland ; on the extreme point of 
this promontory the motte is placed. It carries a well- 
preserved shell wall, which may be of Norman date, 
from the plain round arch of the entrance.^ It has been 
separated by a ditch from the bailey, but the steepness 
of the hill rendered it unnecessary to carry this ditch all 
round. The bailey, i acre in extent, in which a modern 
house is situated, still has an entrance gate of the 13th 
century, and part of a mediaeval wall. A second bailey, 
now a rose-garden, has been added at a later period. 
In spite of the establishment of a castle and a market J<, 

^ Parts of these walls, running N. and S. have been found very near the 
E. side of the Tower. No trace of the Roman wall has been found S. of the 
Tower, but in Lower Thames Street lines have been found which, if produced, 
would lead straight to the S. wall of the inner bailey. Communicated by 
Mr Harold Sands. 

2 I have to thank Mr Harold Sands for kindly revising this account of i 
the Tower. 

3 " Ibi habet comes unum castrum et mercatum, reddentes lois." D. B., ;. 

i., 122. 

* It must be remembered that round arches, in castle architecture, are ; 
by no means a certain sign of date. Of course the first castle on this motte 
inust have been of wood. 




Trematox, Cornwall. 



l^jttJS,r=M£^ 







TuTBURT, Staffs. 



Fig. 34. 



[To face p. 226. 



TREMATON— TUTBURY 227 

the value of the manor of Trematon had gone down 
at the time of the wSurvey, which may be accounted for 
by the fact that there were only ten ploughs where there 
ought to have been twenty-four. It was only a small 
manor, and no burgus is mentioned. 

TuTBURY, Staffordshire (Fig. 34). — In the magnifi- 
cent earthworks of this castle, and the strength of its 
site, we probably see a testimony to the ability of Hugh 
d'Avranches ; for we learn from Ordericus that in 1070 
William I. gave to Henry de Ferrers the castle of 
Tutbury, which had belonged to Hugh d'Avranches,^ 
to whom the king then gave the more dangerous but 
more honourable post of the earldom of Chester. 
Domesday Book simply states that Henry de Ferrers 
has the castle of Tutbury, and that there are forty-two 
men living by their merchandise alone in the borough 
round the castle.^ 

At Tutbury the keep was placed on an artificial 
motte, which itself stood on a hill of natural rock, 
defended on the N.W. side by precipices. There is no 
trace of any ditch between the motte and bailey. At 
present there is only the ruin of a comparatively modern 
tower on the motte, but Shaw states that there was 
formerly a stone keep.^ A description of Elizabeth's 
reign says, ** The castle is situated upon a round hill, and 
is circumvironed with a strong wall of astilar [ashlar] 
stone. . . . The king's lodging therein is fair and strong, 
bounded and knit to the wall. And a fair stage hall of 
timber, of a great length. Four chambers of timber, 
and other houses well upholden, within the walls of the 

* Ord. Vit.^ ii,, 222 (Prevost). 

2 "Henricusde Ferrers habet castellum de Toteberie. In burgo circa 
castellum sunt 42 homines de mercato suo tantum viventes." D. B., i., 
248b. 

^ Shaw's History of Staffordshire^ i., 49. 



22S CASTI.ES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

castle."^ The king's lodging will no doubt be the 
closed gatehouse ; the custom of erecting gatehouse 
palaces arose as early as the 13th century. This account 
shows how many of the castle buildings were still of 
timber in Elizabeth's reign. 

The bailey is quadrant-shaped, and has the motte at 
its apex. Its area is 2^ acres. Its most remarkable 
feature is that it still retains its ancient banks on the 
east side and part of the south, and the more recent 
curtain is carried on top of them. This curtain is of the 
same masonry as the three remaining towers, which are 
of excellent Perpendicular work, and are generally 
attributed to John of Gaunt, who held this castle after 
his marriage with Blanche of Lancaster. The first 
castle was undoubtedly of wood ; it was pulled down 
by order of Henry I. in 1175,^ nor does there seem to 
have been any resurrection till the time of Earl Thomas 
of Lancaster at the earliest. J 

Though Tutbury was the centre of the Honour of 
Ferrers, it does not seem to have been even a manor in 
Saxon times. The borough was probably the creation 
of the castellan, who also founded the Priory.^ There is 
no statement in the Survey from which we can learn the 
value T. R. E., but T. R. W. it was 4/. los. 

Tynemouth, Northumberland. — Besieged and taken 
by William Rufus in 1095.* There is no motte there, 
and probably never was one, as the situation is defended 
by precipitous cliffs on all sides but one, where a deep 
ditch has been cut across the neck of the headland. 

Wallingford, Berkshire (Fig. 35). — There is good 

1 Quoted in Beauties of England and Wales^ Staffordshire, p. 1129. 

2 Diceto i., 384. The castle was then besieged on Henry's behalf by the 
vassal prince of South Wales, the Lord Rhys. 

3 The foundation charter is in Mon. Ang.^ iii., 393. 
* A.-S. C. 




Walling FORD, Berks. 



Fig. 35. 



[To face }K 228, 



I 



WALLINGFORD 229 

reason to suppose that in the vallum of the town of 
Wallingford we have an interesting relic of Saxon 
times. Wallingford is one of the boroughs enumerated 
in the Btu^ghal Hidage ; it was undoubtedly a fortified 
town at the time of the Conquest,^ and is called a burgus 
in Domesday Book ; but there appears to be no evidence 
to connect it with Roman times except the discovery of 
a number of Roman coins in the town and its neighbour- 
hood. No Roman buildings or pavements have ever 
been found. ^ The Saxon borough was built on the 
model of a Roman Chester: a square with rounded 
corners. The rampart of Wallingford, which still exists 
in great part, is entirely of earth, and must have been 
crowned with a wooden wall, such as was still existing 
at Portsmouth in Leland's time.^ The accounts of 
Wallingford in the great Survey are very full and 
important. '' King Edward had eight virgates in the 
borough of Wallingford, and in these there were 276 
haughs paying 11/. of rent. Eight have been destroyed 
for the castle."^ This Norman castle was placed in the 
N.E. corner of the borough. At present its precincts 
cover 30 acres, ^ but this includes garden grounds, and 
no doubt represents later enclosures. No ancient plan 
of the castle has been preserved, but from Leland's 
description there appear to have been three wards in his 

^ William of Poitiers calls it an oppidum^ p. 141. 

"^ Hedges, History of Wallingford. 

^ "The Towne of Portsmuth is murid from the Est Tower a forowgh 
lenght with a Mudde Waulle armid with Tymbre." ///«., iii., 113. 

•* " In burgo de Walingeford habuit Rex Edwardus 8 virgatas terras ; et 
in his erant 276 hagae reddentes 11 libras de gablo. . . . Pro castello sunt 
8 destructas." D. B., i., 56. If we divide these 276 haughs by the 1 14 acres 
enclosed by the town rampart, we get an average of about i rood 26 perches 
for each haugh ; multiply this by 8 (the number destroyed for the castle) 
and we get an area of 3 acres, which is about the average area of an early 
Norman castle. 

•" Hedges, History of Wallingford^ i., 139. 



230 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

time, each defended by banks and ditches. The inner 
ward, which was doubtless the original one, is rudely 
oblong in shape ; it covers 4.^ acres. Leland says, 
** All the goodly buildings, with the towers and dungeon, 
be within the third dyke." The motte, which still 
exists, was on the south-eastern edge of this ward ; that 
is, it was so placed as to overlook both the borough and 
the ford over the Thames.^ It was ditched around, 
and is said to have had a stone keep on the top ; but 
no foundations were found when it was recently 
excavated. It was found to rest on a foundation of 
solid masonry several feet thick, sloping upwards towards 
the outside, so that it must have stood in a kind of 
stone saucer.^ The masonry which remains in the 
other parts of the castle is evidently none of it of the 
early Norman period, unless we accept a fragment of 
wall which contains courses of tiles. Numerous build- 
ings were added in Henry III.'s reign; the walls and 
battlements were repaired, and the hurdicium, which 
had been blown down by a high wind, was renewed.^ 
But the motte and the high banks show clearly that 
the first Norman castle was of wood. 

The value of the royal borough of Wallingford had 
considerably risen since the Conquest* 

Warwick (Fig. 36). — Here again we have a castle 
built on land which the Conqueror obtained from a 
Saxon convent, a positive proof that there was no castle 
there previously. Only a small number of houses was I 

1 Camden speaks of the motte as being in the middle of the castle, but 
this is a mistake. 

^ Such is the account in Hedges' History of Wallhtgford^ p. 139, but it 
sounds odd. It is to be inferred from the same source that the fragment of 
a round building which stands on the top of the motte must be modern ; it 
is thick enough to be ancient. 

^ Close Rolls J i., anno 1223. ^ D. B., i., 56. 



WARWICK 231 

destroyed for the castle/ and this points to the prob- 
ablHty, which Is supported by some other evidence, 
that the castle was built outside the town. Warwick, of 
course, was one of the boroughs fortified by Ethelfleda, 
and It was doubtless erected to protect the Roman road 
from Bath to Lincoln, the Foss Way, against the Danes. 
Domesday Book, after mentioning that the king's 
barons have 112 houses In the borough, and the abbot 
of Coventry 2>^, goes on to say that these houses 
belong to the lands which the barons hold outside the 
city, and are rated there.'' This Is one of the passages 
from w^hlch Professor Maltland has concluded that the 
boroughs planted by Ethelfleda and her brother wxre 
organised on a system of military defence, whereby the 
magnates In the country were bound to keep houses In 
the towns. ^ Orderlcus, after the well-known passage In 
which he states that the lack of castles In England was 
one great cause of Its easy conquest by the Normans, 
says : '' The king therefore founded a castle at Warwick, 
and gave It In custody to Henry, son of Roger de 
Beaumont."^ Putting these various facts together, we 
may fairly assert that the motte which still forms part 
of the castle of Warwick was the work of the Conqueror, 
and not, as Mr Freeman believed, **a monument of 
the wisdom and energy of the mighty daughter of 
Alfred,"^ whose energy was very much better employed 

* "Abbas de Couentreu habet 36 masuras, et 4 sunt wastas propter situm 
castelli." D. B., i., 238a. 

^ " Hae masuras pertinent ad terras quas ipsi barones tenent extra 
burgum, et ibi appreciatae sunt." D. B., i,, 238. 

^ Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond, p. 189. 

^ Ordericus, p. 184. " Rex zV^^//*? castellum apud Guarevicum condidit, et 
Henrico Rogerii de Bello Monte filio ad servandum tradidit." Mr Freeman 
remarks that no authentic records connect Thurkil of Warwick with 
Warwick Castle. N. C, iv., 781. 

^ N. C, iv,, 190. 



232 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

in the protection of her people. Dugdale, who also put 
the motte down to Ethelfleda, was only copying Rous, a 
very imaginative writer of the 15th century. 

The motte of Warwick is mentioned several times in 
the Pipe Rolls of Henry IL ; it then carried wooden 
structures on its top.^ In Leland's time there were still 
standing on this motte the ruins of a keep, which he 
calls by its Norman name of the Dungeon. A fragment 
of a polygonal shell wall still remains.^ But there is not 
a scrap of masonry of Norman date about the castle. 
The motte, and the earthen bank which still runs along 
one side of the court, show that the first castle was a 
wooden one. The bailey is oblong in shape, the motte 
being outside it ; its area Is about 2\ acres. 

The value of Warwick had doubled since the 
Conquest. 

WiGMORE, Herefordshire (Fig. 36). — We have 
already referred to the absurdity of identifying 
this place with the Wigingamere of the Anglo-Saxon 
Chr07iicle} We have the strongest indication that the 
Norman castle at Wlo-more was a new erection, since 
Domesday Book tells us that William FitzOsbern 
built it on waste land called Mereston.^ This express 
statement disposes of the fable in the Fundationis 
Historia of WIgmore Priory, that the castle of 
Wigmore had belonged to Edric the Wild, and was 
rebuilt by Ralph Mortimer.^ Wigmore had only been 

^ In operatione unius domus in mota de Warwick et unius bretaschie 
5/. 7J-. \id. Pipe Rolls, 20 Henry II. As domus is a word very commonly 
used for a keep, it is probable this expenditure refers to a wooden keep. 

^ From information received from Mr Harold Sands. There appears to 
be no foundation whatever for the curious ground plan given by Parker. 

^ See ante, p. 42. 

* "Willelmus comes fecit illud castellum in wasta terra quse vocatur 
Mereston." D. B., i., 183. 

^ Mon. Ang., vi., 349. 



O l OO zoo 300 



^^^!u^^'^ 




Warwick. 



.600 



.500 



o 100 200 300 
Feet. 



.600 



%'!!!iw 




///,..A^i^^" 



m^- 






N 




"WiGMOBE, Hereford. 



Fig. 36. 



[To face p. 232. 



WIGMORE— AVINCHESTER 233 

a small manor of two taxable hides in Saxon times. 
Whereas it had then been unproductive, at the date of 
the Survey there were two ploughs in the demesne, and 
the borough attached to the castle yielded 7/. Here we 
have another instance of the planting of a borough close 
to a castle, and of the revenue which was thus obtained. 

There is a very large and high motte at Wigmore 
Castle, of oval shape, on a headland which has been cut 
off by a deep ditch. The earthen banks of its first 
fortification still remain, enclosing a small ward, but on 
top of them is a wall in masonry, and the ruins of a 
polygonal keep ; ^ also the remains of two mural towers. 
Half-w^ay down the end of the headland, below the motte, 
is a small square court, which may have been the 
original bailey ; below it, again, is a larger half-moon 
bailey furnished with walls and towers. But the whole 
area covered is only i acre. The masonry is none of 
it earlier than the Decorated period, except one tower 
in the bailey wall which may be late Norman. 

Winchester, Hants. — We include Winchester 
among the castles mentioned or alluded to in 
Domesday Book, because we think it can be proved 
that the domus regis mentioned under Alton and Clere 
is the castle built by William outside the west gate of 
the city, where the present County Hall is now almost 
the only remaining relic of any castle at all.^ Under 
the head of "Aulton" we are told that the abbot of 

^ This keep rests on a broad extension of the earthen rampart, similar to 
what is still to be seen in the mottes of Devizes, Burton-in-Lonsdale, and 
William Hill, Middleham. 

- Ordericus says: "Intra moenia Guentas, opibus et munimine nobilis 
urbis et mari contiguae, validam arcem construxit, ibique Willelmum 
Osberni filium in exercitu suo precipuum reliquit." II., 166. The intra 
moenia is not to be taken literally, any more than the mari contigucE. It is 
strange that Mr Freeman should have mistaken Guenta for Norwich, since 
under 1067 Ordericus translates the Winchester of the A.-S. C. by Guenta, 



234 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Hyde had unjustly gotten the manor in exchange for 
the king's house, because by the testimony of the jurors 
it was already the king's house/ That excambio domus 
regis should read excambio terrce domus regis is clear 
from the corresponding entry under Clere, where the 
words 2.x^ pro excambio terrce in qua domus regis est in 
civitate} The matter is put beyond a doubt by the 
confirmatory charter of Henry I. to Hyde Abbey, where 
the king states that his father gave Aulton and Clere to 
Hyde Abbey in exchange for the land on which he built 
his hall in the city of Winchester.^ Where, then, was 
this hall, which was clearly new, since fresh land was 
obtained for it, and which must not therefore be sought 
on the site of the palace of the Saxon kings ? The 
Liber Winton^ a roll of Henry I.'s time, says that twelve 
burgesses' houses had been destroyed and the land was 
now occupied by the king's house/ Another passage 
says that a whole street outside the west gate was 
destroyed when the king made his ditch/ These 
passages justify the conclusion of Mr Smirke that the 
king's house at Winchester was neither more nor less 
than the castle which existed until the 17th century 
outside the west gate/ Probably the reason why it is 
spoken of so frequently in the earliest documents as the 
king's house or hall, instead of the castle, is that in this 
important city, the ancient capital of Wessex, where the 

^ " De isto manerio testatur comitatus quod injuste accepit [abbas] pro 
excambio domus regis, quia domus erat regis." D. B., i., 43a, i. 

2 Ibid.^ i., 43a, 2. 

^ " Sicut rex Willielmus pater meus ei dedit in excambium pro terra ilia 
in qua asdificavit aulam suam in urbe Winton. Mon. Ang.^ ii., 444. 

^ " Pars erat in dominio et pars de dominio abbatis ; hoc totum est post 
occupatum in domo regis." P. 534. This passage throws light on the 
fraud of the abbot of Hyde, referred to above. 

^ " Extra portam de Vuest . . . ibi juxta fuit quidam vicus ; fuit diffactus 
quando rex fecit facere suum fossatum." P. 535. 

^ Arch. Inst.^ Winchester volume, p. 51. 




ai r: 
a o 

Ed 



fe 



Fig. 37. 



[To face 2i 234. 



r. 



ii 



WINCHESTER 235 

king ** wore his crown " once a year, William built, 
besides the usual wooden keep on the motte, a stone 
hall in the bailey, of size and dignity corresponding to 
the new royalty/ In fact, the hall so magnificently 
transformed by Henry III., and known to be the old 
hall of the castle, can be seen on careful examination to 
have still its original Norman walls and other traces of 
early Norman work.^ The palace of the Saxon kings 
stood, where we might expect to find the palace of 
native princes. In the middle of the city ; according to 
Milner it was on the site of the present Square.^ 
William may have repaired this palace, but that he 
constructed two royal houses, a palace and a castle, is 
highly Improbable. The castle became the residence of 
the Norman kings, and the Saxon palace appears to 
have been neglected."* We see with what caution the 
Conqueror placed his castle at the royal city of Wessex 
without the walls. Milner tells us that there was no 
access to it from the city without passing through the 
west gate.^ The motte of the castle appears to have 
been standing in his time, as he speaks of "the artificial 
mount on which the keep stands."^ It Is frequently 

^ It should also be said that the word domus is frequently used for a 
keep in chronicles and ancient documents of the nth and 12th centuries. 

'^ The line of the more ancient roof gable can be traced in the north 
wall, and there is a vestige of a Norman doorway in the east wall. 

^ History of Winchester^ ii., 210. 

^ Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester and brother of King Stephen, 
pulled down the royal palace close to the cathedral, which presumably was 
the old Saxon palace, and used the materials to build Wolvesey Castle. 
See Malmesbury, "De Vitis Sex Episcoporum," Anglia Sacra, ii., 421. He 
could hardly have dared to do this if the palace had still been used by the 
Norman kings. 

" History of Winchester, ii., 210. See Fig. 37. 

^ Ibid., p. 195. It is difficult, now that the area has been levelled, to say 
exactly where this motte stood. Woodward says that the keep stood in the 
N.E. corner \ but he probably alludes to a mural tower whose foundations 
can still be seen, near the County Hall. History of Hampshire, i., 295-304. 



236 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

mentioned in mediaeval documents as the beumont or 
beati viont. It was surrounded by its own ditch. ^ The J 
bailey, if Speed's map is correct, was triangular in shape. 
With its ditches and banks the castle covered 6 acres, 
according to the commissioners who reported on it in 
Elizabeth's reign ; but the inner area cannot have been 
more than \\ acres. We may Infer from the sums 
spent on this castle by Henry IL, that he was the first 
to give it walls and towers of stone ; the Pipe Rolls 
show entries to the amount of 1150/. during the course 
of his reign ; the work of the walls is frequently specified, 
and stone is mentioned. 

Domesday Book does not inform us whether the 
value of Winchester had risen or fallen since the 
Conquest. 

Windsor (Fig. 38). — Here we have another of the 
interesting cases in which the geld due from the tenant 
of a manor is lessened on account of a castle having 
occupied a portion of the land.^ The Survey tells us 
that the castle of Windsor sits in half a hide belonging 
to the manor of Clewer, which had become William's 
property as part of the spoils of Harold. It was now 
held of the king by a Norman tenant-in-chief, but 
whereas it was formerly rated as five hides it was now 
(that is, probably, since the castle was built) rated as ij 
four and a half hides. Of course we are not to suppose 

^ Turner, History of Domestic Architecture. He cites from the Liberate 
Roll^ 35 Henry H., an order for the repair of the ditch between the great 
tower and the bailey. 

- "Radulfus fihus Seifrid tenet de rege Clivor. Heraldus comes tenuit. 
Tunc se defendebat pro 5 hidis, modo pro 4^ hidis, et castellum de 
Windesores est in dimidia hida." D. B., i., 62b. The Abingdon History 
also mentions the foundation of Windsor Castle and gives some interesting 
details about castle guard. " Tunc Walingaforde et Oxenforde et Wildesore, 
c^terisque locis, castella pro regno servando compacta. Unde huic abbatia; 
mihtum excubias apud ipsum Wildesore oppidum habendas regis imperio 
jussum." H., 3, R. S. 



I 




o 



[To Jacep. 236. 



I 



4 



WINDSOR 237 

that the castle occupied the whole half hide, which 
might be some 60 acres ; but it extinguished the 
liability of that portion. At Windsor, however, we 
have no occasion to press this argument as a proof that 
the castle was new, since it is well established that the 
palace of the Saxon kings was at least 2 miles from the 
present castle and town, in the village long known as 
Old Windsor, which fell into decay as the town of 
Windsor sprang up under the Norman castle.^ The 
manor of Windsor was given by Edward the Confessor 
to the convent of Westminster, but recovered by the 
■ Conqueror.^ But as the Survey shows us, he did not 
I build his castle in the manor of Windsor, but in that of 
Clewer. He built it for a hunting-seat,^ and it may 
have been for the purpose of recovering forest rights 
that he resumed possession of Old Windsor ; but he 
[ placed his castle in the situation which he thought best 
! for defence. For even a hunting-seat in Norman 
times was virtually a castle, as many other instances 
show. 

It is needless to state that there is no masonry at 
Windsor of the time of the Conqueror, or even of the 
time of his son Henry I., in spite of the statement of 
Stowe that Henry **new builded the castle of Windsor." 
This statement may perhaps be founded on a passage 
in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle which says that Henry 
held his court for the first time in the New Windsor in 

^ Leland, iv., i, 37. See also Tighe's Annals of Windsor^ pp. 1-6. 
Until recently there was a farmhouse surrounded by a moat at Old 
Windsor, which was believed \o mark the site of Edward's regia domus. 

'^ Edward's grant of Windsor to Westminster is in Cod. Dip.., iv., 227. 

Domesday does not mention the rights of the church, but says the manor 

I of Windsor was held of the crown T. R. E. and T. R. W. Camden gives 

I William's charter of exchange with the convent of Westminster. Britannia., 

!i., 151. 

^ This is stated in the charter given by Camden. 



238 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

1 1 lo. Perhaps the Chronicle here refers to the borough 
of New Windsor, as an entry in the Pipe Roll of 
Henry L seems to show that he was the first to enclose 
the burgus of Windsor.^ For it is probable that the 
first stone castle at Windsor was built by Henry H., 
who spent £\6']0 on it in the course of his reign. One 
of his first acts after his accession was an exchange of 
land at Windsor, which seems to have been for the 
purpose of a vineyard, and was possibly the origin of 
the second bailey.^ At present the position of the 
motte is central to the rest of the castle, but this is so 
unusual that it suggests the idea that the upper ward 
is the oldest, and that the motte stood on its outer edge. 
Henry H. surrounded the castle with a wall, at a cost 
of about 128/.^ The other entries in the Pipe Rolls 
probably refer to the first stone shell on the motte, and 
there is little doubt that the present Round Tower, 
though its height has been raised in modern times, and 
its masonry re-dressed and re-pointed so as to destroy 
all appearance of antiquity, is in the main of Henry H.'s 
building. The frequent payments for stone show the 
nature of Henry's work. 

Although so much masonry was put up in Henry H.'s 
reign, the greater part of what is now visible is not 
older than the time of Henry HL The lower bailey 
seems to have been enlarged in his reign, as the castle 

^ In I virgata terrae quam Willelmus fil. Walter! habet in escambio pro 
terra sua quae capta est ad burgum. P. 721. 

^ The Red Book of the Exchequer^ which contains an abstract of the 
missing Pipe Roll oi i Henry II., has an entry of 12s. paid to Richard de 
CHfwar for the exchange of his land, and regular payments are made later. 
There was another enlargement of the bailey in Henry I H.'s reign, but the 
second bailey was then existing. See Close Rolls^ i., 531b. 

^ "In operatione muri circa castellum ill. los. /[d. Summa denariorum 
quos idem Ricardus [de Luci] misit in operatione predicta de ballia 128/. 
9J." Pipe Roll^ 20 Henry II., p. 116. 



msm 



WINDSOR— WISBEACH 239 

ditch was extended towards the town, and compensation 
given for houses taken down.-^ The upper (probably 
the original) ward is rectangular in shape, and with the 
motte and its ditches covers about 6|- acres. ^ The state 
apartments, a chapel, and the Hall of St George, are in 
the upper ward, showing that this was the site of the 
original hall and chapel of the castle. The charter of 
agreement between Stephen and Henry in 1153 speaks 
of the mol^e of Windsor as equivalent to the castle.^ 
Repairs of the motte are mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of 
Henry 11.^ 

The value of the manor of Clewer had fallen since 
the Conquest; that of Windsor, which was worth 15/. 
T. R. E., but after the Conquest fell to 7/., was again 
worth 15/. at the date of the Survey.^ 

WiSBEACH, Cambridgeshire. — William I. built a 
castle here in 1072, after suppressing the revolt of 
Hereward, in order to hold in check the Cambridgeshire 
fen country.^ There is an early mention of it in the 
Register of Thorney Abbey. This castle, after being 
several times rebuilt, is now completely destroyed, and 
** several rows of elegant houses built on the site." 
Nevertheless, there still remain distinct traces of the 
otte-and-bailey pattern in the gardens which now 
'occupy the site of the original castle of King William ; 
the present Crescent probably follows the line of the 

^ Tighe's Annals of Windsor^ p. 21. 

2 There is a singular entry in the Pipe Roll of 7 Richard I., "pro fossato 
)rosternando quod fuit inter motam et domos regis," clearly the ditch 
letween the motte and the bailey. Mr Hope informs me that this can only 
efer to the northern part of the ditch, as the eastern portion was only filled 
p in 1824. Mr Hope thinks that the castle area has always included the 
)wer bailey. I regret that Mr Hope's History of Windsor Castle did not 
ppear in time to be used in this work. 

^ Foedera^ vol. i. * Pipe Rolls, 30 Henry II. 

^ D. B., i., 62b, 2 ; 56b, 2. ^ Roger of Wendover, in anno. 



I 



240 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

ditch. The meagre indications preserved in casual 
accounts confirm this. There was an inner castle of 
about 2 acres, just the area of the present garden 
enclosure, and an outer court, probably an addition, of 
some 4 acres.^ Both areas were moated. Weston, a 
prisoner who was confined in the keep of this castle in 
the 17th century, has left an account of his captivity, in 
which he casually mentions that the keep or dungeon 
stood upon a high terrace, from which he could overlook 
the outer bailey, and was surrounded by a moat filled 
with water.^ 

The castle is not mentioned in Domesday, but as 
might be expected in a district which had been so 
ravaged by war, the value of the manor had fallen. 

Worcester. — This borough, as we have seen, was 
fortified by Ethelfieda and her husband Ethelred in the 
9th century. That the fortifications thus erected were 
those of a city and not of a castle is shown with 
sufficient clearness by the remarkable charter of this 
remarkable pair, in which they declare that they have 
built the burh at Worcester to shelter all the people, \ 
and the churches, and the bishop.^ The castle is first \ 
mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1088, andl 
it is to be noted that it is styled the king's castle. Urse r 
d'Abitot, the Norman sheriff of Worcester, has the 
credit of having built the first castle, and Malmesbury 
relates that he seized part of the monks' cemetery for 
the bailey.^ The monks, however, held on to their right, 

^ Walter and Cradock's History of Wisbeach^ pp. 270-278. tP' 

^ Morris' Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers^ p. 223. This keep was 

one built by Bishop Morton in 147 1. ^^i 

^ Birch's Cartulariui7i^ ii., 222. '^'n 

^ Ursus erat vicecomes Wigorniae a rege constitutus, qui in ipsis poena 

faucis monachorum castellum construxit, adeo ut fossatum coemiterii partem 

decideret. Gesta Pontiff p. 253. 



WORCESTER 241 

and in the first year of Henry III. the bailey was 
restored to them by the guardians of the young king, 
the motte being reserved for the king's use.^ The first 
wooden castle was burnt in 1113.^ The tower or keep 
which succeeded it, and which was repaired by Henry 
n.,^ may have been either of stone or wood ; but in the 
order of John, that the gateway of the castle, which is 
of wood, is to be made of stone, we get a hint of the 
gradual transformation of the castle from a wooden to a 
stone fortress/ 

Worcester Castle was outside the town, from 
Speed's map, and was near the Severn. The area now 
called College Green was no doubt the outer ward of 
the castle, which was restored to the convent by Henry 
ni. The tower called Edgar's Tower was built by the 
monks as the gatehouse to their newly conceded close.^ 
From the map given by Green, this outer bailey appears 
to have been roughly square ; but there was also a small 
joblong inner ward, retained by the king, where the gaol 
was afterwards built. The area of the castle is said 
to have been between 3 and 4 acres. ^ The motte, 
which is mentioned several times in mediaeval docu- 

1 " Castrum Wigornias nobis redditum est, tanquam jus noster, usquam 
yinotam turris." Annales de Wigornia, R. S., p. 407. " Rex Johanni 
Marescallo salutem : Mandamus vobis quod sine dilatione facialis habere 
l^ tfvenerabili patri nostro domino Wigorniensi episcopo ballium castri nostri 
iWigorniae, quod est jus ecclesiae suas ; retenta ad opus nostrum mota 
ejusdem castri."' Patent Rolls ^ i Henry III., p. 46. 

- Annales de Wigornia^ p. 375. 

^ " In reparatione turris Wigorniae 8/." Red Book of Exchequer^ ii., 

356. 

^ " Precipimus tibi quod per visum liberorum et legalium hominum 
"acias parari portam castri Wigorniae, quae nunc est lignea, lapideam, et 
5onam et pulchram." Rot. de Liberate^ p. 93, 1204. 

^ Green's History of Worcester., i., 19. 

^ Allies' Antiquities of Worcestershire., p. 15. His words strictly apply 
'^o " the lofty mound called the keep, with its ditches, etc.," but probably the 
vhole area was not more than 4 acres. 



i 



242 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

ments/ was completely levelled in 1848; It was then 
found out that it had been thrown up over some 
previous buildings, which were believed to be Roman, 
though this seems doubtful.^ 

The value of Worcester had risen since the 
Conquest.^ 

York (Fig. 39). — William the Conqueror built two 
castles at York, and the mottes of both these castles 
remain, one underneath Clifford's Tower, the keep of 
York Castle, the other, on the south side of the Ouse, 
still bearing the name of the Balle Hill, or the Old 
Baile/ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle implies, though it 
does not directly state, that both these castles were 
built in 1068, on the occasion of William's first visit to 
York. The more detailed narrative of Ordericus shows 
that one was built in 1068, and the other at the 
beginning of 1069, on William's second visit.^ Both 
were destroyed in September 1069, when the English 
and Danes captured York, and both were rebuilt before 
Christmas of the same year, when William held his | 
triumphant Christmas feast at York. i 

This speedy erection, destruction, and re-erection is 
enough to prove that the castles of William in York j 
were, like most other Norman castles, hills of earth with 
buildings and stockades of wood, especially as we find I 
these hills of earth still remaining on the known sites of 

^ See the documents cited by Mr Round in his Geoffrey de MandevilUy 
Appendix O, and the Pipe Rolls of 1173. " In reparatione Mote et Gaiole 
de Wirecestra, ;^35, 13s. 8d.'' 

2 Gentleman^s Magazine, \.^ 2,6, 1834. See Haverfield, " Romano-British 
Worcester," Victoria County History of Worcestershire, vol. i. 

3 D. B., i., 172. 

4 It is needless to remark that baile is the Norman word for an enclosure 
or courtyard ; Low Latin ballia; sometimes believed to be derived from 
baculus, a stick. 

° Ordericus, ii., 188 (edition Prevost). 



YORK 243 

the castles. And we may be quite sure that the 
Norman masonry, which Mr Freeman pictures as so 
eagerly destroyed by the English, never existed.^ But 
the obstinate tendency of the human mind to make 
things out older than they are has led to these earthen 
hills being assigned to Britons, Romans, Saxons, Danes, 
anybody rather than Normans. A single passage of 
William of Malmesbury, in which he refers to the 
castrufii which the Danes had built at York in the 
reign of Athelstan, is the sole vestige of basis for the 
theory that the motte of Clifford's Tower is of Danish 
origin." The other theories have absolutely no founda- 
tion but conjecture. If Malmesbury was quoting from 
some older source w^hich is now lost, it is extremely 
probable that the word casirum which he copied, did 
not mean a castle in our sense of the word at all, but 
was a translation of the word b2C7^h, which almost 
certainly referred to a vallum or wall constructed round 
the Danish suburb outside the walls of York. Such a 
suburb there was, for there in 1055 stood the Danish 
church of St Olave, in which Earl Siward was buried, 
and the suburb was long known as the Earlsburgh or 
Earl's Burh, probably because it contained the residence 
\ of the Danish earls of Northumbria.^ This suburb 

^ Norvtan Conquest^ iv., 270. Mr Freeman has worked out the course 
of events connected with the building and destruction of the castles with 
his usual lucidity. But he never grasped the real significance of mottes, 
though he emphatically maintained that the native English did not build 
castles. 

- " Ethelstanus castrum quod olim Dani in Eboraco obfirmaverant ad 
solum diruit, ne esset quo se tutari perfidia posset.'" Gesta Reguin^ ii., 134. 

^ Widdrington, Analecta Eboracensia^ p. 120. It was this suburb which 
Alan, Earl of Richmond gave to the Abbey of St Mary at York, which he 
had founded. "Ecclesiam sancti Olavii in qua capud abbatias in honorem 
sanctae Marian melius constitutum est, et burginn in quo ecclesia sita est.^^ 
Mon. Ang.^ iii., 547. For the addition of new boroughs to old ones see 
ante^ p. 174, under Norwich. Although Athelstan destroyed the fortifications 



244 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

was not anywhere near Clifford's Tower, but in quite a 
different part of the city. To prove that both the 
mottes were on entirely new sites, we have the assurance 
of Domesday Book that out of the seven shires or wards 
into which the city was divided, one was laid waste for 
the castles ; so that there was clearly a great destruction 
of houses to make room for the new castles/ 

What has been assumed above receives striking 
confirmation from excavations made recently {1903) in 
the motte of Clifford's Tower. At the depth of 13 feet 
were found remains of a wooden structure, surmounted 
by a quantity of charred wood.^ Now the accounts of 
the destruction of the castles in 1069 do not tell us that 
they were burned, but thrown down and broken to 
pieces.^ But the keep which was restored by William, 
and on the repair of which Henry IL spent 15/. in 
1 172,* was burnt down in the frightful massacre of the 
Jews at York Castle in 1190.^ The excavations dis- 
closed the interesting fact that this castle stood on a 
lower motte than the present one, and that when the 
burnt keep was replaced by a new one the motte was 
raised to its present height, *' an outer crust of firmer 
and more clayey material being made round the older 

of this borough, they were evidently renewed when the Danish earls took 
up their residence there, for when Earl Alan persuaded the monks from 
Whitby to settle there one inducement which he offered was the fortification 
of the site, "loci munitionem." Mon. Ang.^ iii., 545. 

1 In Eboraco civitate T. R. E. prseter scyram archiepiscopi fuerunt 6 
scyrse ; una ex his est wasta in castellis. D. B., i., 298. 

2 Notes on ClifforcCs Tower^ by George Benson and H. Platnauer, 
published by the York Philosophical Society. 

■^ "Thone castel tobraecon and towurpan." A.-S. C. See Freeman, 
N. C, iv., 270. 

* "In operatione turris de Euerwick, 15/. ys. 3^." Pipe Roll^ 19 
Henry II., vol. xix., 2. We assume that W^illiam's second keep lasted till 
Henry II.'s reign. 

^ Benedict of Peterborough^ ii., 107. 




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YORK 245 

summit, and a lighter material placed inside this crater 
to bring it up to the necessary level." This restoration 
must have taken place in the third year of Richard I., 
when 28/. was spent *' on the work of the castle."^ 
This small sum shows that the new keep also was of 
wood ; and remains of timber work were in fact found 
on the top of the motte during the excavations, though 
unfortunately they were not sufficiently followed up to 
determine whether they belonged to a wooden tower or 
to a platform intended to consolidate the motte.^ It is 
extremely likely that this third keep was blown down by 
the high wind of 1228, when 2s. was paid ''for collecting 
the timber of York Castle blown down by the wind."^ 
In its place arose the present keep, one of the most 
remarkable achievements of the reign of Henry III.* 

^ "In operatione castri 28/. I3J'. 9^." Pipe Roll, 3 Richard I. 
Under the year 1193, after relating the tragedy of the Jews at York Castle, 
Hoveden says : " Deinde idem cancellarius [William de Longchamp] tradidit 
Osberto de Lunchamp, fratri suo, comitatum Eboracensem in custodia, et 
precepit firmari castellum in veteri castellario quod Rex Willelmus Rufus 
ibi construxerat." III., 34, R. S. The expression vetus castellariiim would 
lead us to think of the Old Baile, which certainly had this name from an 
early period ; and Hoveden, being a Yorkshireman as well as a very 
accurate writer, was probably aware of the difference between the two 
castles. But if he meant the Old Baile, then both the castles were restored 
at about the same time. " Rufus " must be a slip, unless there was some 
rebuilding in Rufus' reign of which we do not know. 

^ Messrs Benson and Platnauer are of the former opinion. "The 
existence of a second layer of timber seems to show that the fortification 
destroyed was rebuilt in wood." Notes on Cliffords Tower, p. 2. 

^ " Pro mairemio castri Ebor. prostrato per ventum colligendo, 2j'." 
Pipe Roll, 19 Henry III. It is, of course, a conjecture that this accident 
happened to the keep ; but the keep would be the part most exposed to the 
wind, and the scattering of the timber, so that it had to be collected, is just 
what would happen if a timber structure were blown off a motte. 

"* As the writer was the first to publish this statement, it will be well to 
give the evidence on which it rests. The keep of York is clearly Early 
English in style, and of an early phase of the style. It is, however, evident 
to every one who has carefully compared our dated keeps, that castle 
architecture always lags behind church architecture in style-development, 
and must be judged by different standards. We should therefore be 



246 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

The old ground-plan of the square Norman keep was 
now abandoned, and replaced by a quatrefoil. The 
work occupied thirteen years, from the 30th to 
the 43rd Henry IIL, and the total sum expended 
was 1927/. Ss. yd., equal to about 40,000/. of our 
money. This remarkable fact has slumbered in the 
unpublished Pipe Rolls for 700 years, never having 
been unearthed by any of the numerous historians of 
York. 

The keep was probably the first work in stone at 
York Castle, and for a long time it was probably the 
only defensive masonry. The banks certainly had only 
a wooden stockade in the early part of Henry HL's 
reign, as timber from the forest of Galtres was ordered 
for the repair of breaches in \he palicmm in 1225."^ As 
late as Edward H.'s reign there was a pelum, or 
stockade, round the keep, on top of a murus, which was 

prepared to find this and most other keeps to be of later date than their 
architecture would suggest. Moreover, the expenditure entered to York 
Castle in the reigns of Henry II., Richard I., and John, is quite insufficient 
to cover the cost of a stone keep. The Pipe Rolls of Henry III.'s reign 
decide the matter, as they show the sums which he expended annually on 
this castle. It is true they never mention the turris, but always the 
castrum ; we must also admit that the turris and castrum are often distin- 
guished in the writs, even as late as Edward III.'s reign. {Close Rolls, 
1334.) On the other hand extensive acquaintance with the Pipe Rolls 
proves that though the mediaeval scribe may have an occasional fit of 
accuracy, he is generally very loose in his use of words, and his dis- 
tinctions must never be pressed. Take, for instance, the case of Orford, 
where the word used in the Pipe Rolls is always castellu7?t, but it cer- 
tainly refers to the keep, as there are no other buildings at Orford. Other 
instances might be given in which the word castellum clearly applies to 
the keep. It should be mentioned that in 1204 John gave an order for c 
stone for the castle {Close Rolls, i., 4b), but the amounts on the bill for i 
it in the Pipe Rolls show that it was not used for any extensive building \ 
operations. 

^ " Mandatum est Galterio de Cumpton forestario de Gauteris quod ad : 
pontem et domos castri Eboraci et breccas palicii ejusdem castri reparandos 
et emendandos Vicecomitem Eboraci masremium habere faciat in foresta de 
Gauteris per visum, etc." Close Rolls, ii., 6ib. 




YORK 247 

undoubtedly an earthen bank.^ At present the keep 
occupies the whole top of the motte except a small 
chemin de ronde, but the fact so frequently alluded to in 
the writs, that a stockade ran round the keep, proves 
that a small courtyard existed there formerly, as was 
usually the case with important keeps. Another writ of 
Edward II.'s reign shows that the motte was liable to 
injury from the floods of the River Fosse, ^ and probably 
its size has thus been reduced. 

The present bailey of York Castle does not follow the 
lines of the original one, but is an enlargement made in 
1825. A plan made in 1750, and reproduced here, 
shows that the motte was surrounded by its own ditch, 
which is now filled up, and that the bailey, around 
which a branch of the Fosse was carried, was of the 
very common bean-shaped form ; it was about 3 acres 
in extent. The motte and bailey were both considerably 
outside what is believed to have been the Anglo-Saxon 
rampart of York,^ but the motte was so placed as to 
overlook the city. 

The value of the city of York, in spite of the sieges 
i and sacks which it had undergone, and in spite of there 
being 540 houses **so empty that they pay nothing at 
all," had risen at the date of the Survey from 53/. in 
King Edward's time to 100/. in King William's.* This 
extraordinary rise in value can only be attributed to 



^ Order to expend up to 6 marks in repairing the wooden peel about the 
keep of York Castle, which peel is now fallen down. Cal. of Close Rolls^ 17 



I 

Edward II., 25. 

^ Cal. of Close Rolls, 1313-1318, 262. Mota is wrongly translated moat. 
"^ See Mr Cooper's York : The Story of its Walls and Castles. During 
I Messrs Benson and Platnauer's excavations, a prehistoric crouching burial 
M was found in the ground below the motte, 4 feet 6 inches under the present 
' level. This raises the question whether William utilised an existing pre- 
historic barrow for the nucleus of his motte, 
* D, B., i., 298a. 



I 



248 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

Increased trade and increased exactions, the former 
being promoted by the greater security given to the 
roads by the castles, the latter due to the tolls on the 
high-roads and waterways, which belonged to the king, 
and the various "customs" belonging to the castles, 
which, though new, w^ere henceforth equally part of his 
rights. 

The Baile Hill, York (Fig. 39). — There can be 
no doubt whatever that this still existing motte was the 
site of one of William's castles at York, and it is even 
probable that it was the older of the two, as Mr Cooper 
conjectures from its position on the south side of the 
river.^ The castle bore the name of the Old Baile at 
least as early as the 14th century, perhaps even In the 
I2th.^ In 1326 a dispute arose between the citizens of 
York and Archbishop William de Melton as to which 
of them ought to repair the wall around the Old Baile. 
The mayor alleged that the district was under the 
express jurisdiction of the archbishop, exempt from that 
of the city ; the archbishop pleaded that it stood within 
the ditches of the city.^ The meaning of this dispute 
can only be understood in the light of facts which have 
recently been unearthed by the Industry and observation 
of Mr T. P. Cooper, of York.* The Old Baile, like so 
many of William's castles, originally stood outside the 
ramparts of the city. The original Roman walls of 
York (it is believed) enclosed only a small space on the 
eastern shore of the Ouse, and before the Norman 

^ York : The Story of its Walls and Castles^ by T. P. Cooper, p. 222. 

2 See the passage from Hoveden already quoted, ante^ p. 245. y[ 

3 Drake's Eboracufn, App. xliv. 
* See Mr Cooper's York: The Story of its Walls and Castles^ which 

contains a mass of new material from documentary sources, and sheds quite 
unexpected light on the history of the York fortifications. I am indebted to 
Mr Cooper's courtesy for some of the extracts cited above relating to York 
Castle. 



YORK: THE BAILE HILL 249 

Conquest the city had far outgrown these bounds, and 
therefore had been enlarged in Anglo-Saxon times. It 
appears that the Micklegate suburb was then for the 
first time enclosed with a wall, and as this district is 
spoken of in Domesday Book as ^'the shire of the 
archbishop," it was evidently under his jurisdiction. 
At a later period this wall was buried in an earthen 
bank, which probably carried a palisade on top, until the 
palisade was replaced by stone walls in the reign of 
Henry III.^ 

The evidence of the actual remains renders it more 
than probable that this rampart turned towards the 
river at a point 500 feet short of its present angle, so that 
the Old Baile, when first built, was quite outside the 
city walls. ^ This is exactly how we should expect to 
find a castle of William the Norman's in relation to one 
of the most turbulent cities of the realm ; and, as we 
have seen, the other castle at York was similarly placed. 
By the time of Archbishop Melton the south-western 
suburb was already enclosed in the new stone walls 
built in the 13th century, and these walls had been 
carried along the west and south banks of the Old Baile, 
so as to enclose that castle within the city. This was 
the archbishop's pretext for trying to lay upon the 
citizens the duty of maintaining the Old Baile. But 
probably on account of his ancient authority in this part 
of the city, the cause went against him ; though he 

^ Cooper's York, chapters ii. and iv. 100/. was spent by the sheriff in 
fortifying the walls of York in the sixth year of Henry III. After this there 
are repeated grants for murage in the same and the following reign. There 
are some Early English buttresses in the walls, but the majority are later. 
No part of the walls contains Norman work. 

2 The details of this evidence, which consist mainly in (i) a structural 
difference in the extended rampart ; (2) a subsidence in the ground 
marking the old line of the city ditch, will be found in Mr Cooper's work, 
p. 224. 



250 CASTLES OF THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND 

stipulated that whatever he did in the way of fortifica- 
tion was of his own option, and was not to be accounted 
a precedent. A contemporary chronicler says that he 
enclosed the Old Baile first with stout planks i8 feet 
long, afterwards with a stone wall : ^ an interesting proof 
that wooden fortifications were still used in the reign of 
Edward IIL 

Though the base court of the Old Baile is now built 
over, its area and ditches were visible in Leland's time,^ 
and can still be guessed at by the indications Mr Cooper 
has noted. The area of the bailey must have been 
nearly 3 acres, and its shape nearly square. This 
measurement includes the motte, which was placed In 
the south-west corner on the line of the banks ; it 
thus overlooked the river as well as the city.^ 

^ " Locum in Eboraco qui dicitur Vetus Ballium, primo spissis et longis 
18 pedum tabulis, secundo lapideo muro fortiter includebat," T. Stubbs, in 
Raine's Historians of the Church of York, ii., 417, R. S. 

2 "The plotte of this castelle is now caullid the Olde Baile, and the 
area and diches of it do manifestley appere." ///>., i., 60. 

^ See the plan in Mr Cooper's York, p. 217. 



CHAPTER VIII 

MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

MoTTE-CASTLES are as common in Wales as they are in 
England, and in certain districts much more common. 
It is now our task to show how they got there. They 
were certainly not built (in the first instance at any rate) 
by the native inhabitants, for they do not correspond to 
what we know to have been the state of society in Wales 
during the Anglo-Saxon period.^ The Welsh were then 
in the tribal condition, a condition, as we have shown, 
inconsistent with the existence of the private castle. 
The residence of the king or chieftain, as we know 
from the Welsh Laws, was a great hall, such as seems 
to have been the type of chieftains' residence among all 
the northern nations at that time. *' It was adapted for 
the joint occupation of a number of tribesmen living 
together."^ 

Pennant describes the residence of Ednowen, a 
Welsh chieftain of the 12th century, as follows: "The 
remains are about 30 yards square ; the entrance about 
7 feet wide, with a large upright stone on each side for 
a doorcase ; the walls were formed of large stones 
uncemented by any mortar ; in short the structure shows 

^ " In the Wales of the Laws, the social system is tribal." Owen Edwards, 
WaleSy p. 39. 

^ Vinogradoff, Growth of the Manor^ pp. 15-16. 

251 



252 MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

the very low state of Welsh architecture at this time ; 
it may be paralleled only by the artless fabric of a 
cattle-house."^ This certainly is a hall and not a 
castle. 

The so-called Dimetian Code indeed tells us that the 
king is to have a man and a horse from every hamlet, 
with hatchets for constructing his castles (gestyll) at 
the king's cost ; but the Venedotian Code, which is the 
older MS., says that these hatchet-men are to form 
encampments (uuesten) ; that is, they are to cut down 
trees and form either stockades on banks or rude zerebas 
for the protection of the host.^ It is clearly laid down 
in the Codes what buildings the king's villeins are to 
erect for him at his residences : a hall, buttery, kitchen, 
dormitory, stable, dog-house, and little house.^ In none 
of these lists is anything mentioned which has the 
smallest resemblance to a castle, not even a tower. We 
can imaofine that these buildino-s were enclosed in an 
earthwork or stockade, but it is not mentioned.* 

Wales was never one state, except for very short 
periods. Normally it was divided into three states, 
Gwynedd or North Wales, Powys or Mid- Wales, and 
Deheubarth, all almost incessantly at war with each 

^ Pennant's Tour in fVa/es, Rhys' edition, ii., 234. 

- Ancient Laws and Institutes of IVa/es, pp. 238, 94. The MS. of the 
Leges WalliccB is not earlier than the 13th century. The other editions of 
the Laws are even later. See Wade Evans, Welsh Mediaeval Law, for the 
most recent criticism of the Laws of Howel Dda. 

2 The Leges WalliccB say : " Villani regis debent facere novem domos 
ad opus regis ; scilicet, aulam, cameram, coquinam, penu (capellam), 
stabulum, kynorty (stabulum canum), horreum, odyn (siccarium) et 
latrinam." P. 791. 

^ The word Din or Dinas, so often used for a fort in Wales, is cognate 
with the German Zaun, Anglo-Saxon tun, and means a fenced place. 
Neither it nor the Irish form dun have any connection with the Anglo- 
Saxon dun, a hill. See J. E. Lloyd, Welsh Place-names, " Y Cymmrodor,'*' 
xi., 24. 



WALES AND THE SAXONS 253 

other.^ Other subdivisions asserted themselves as 
opportunity offered, so that the above rough division 
into provinces must not be regarded as always accurate. 
A Wales thus divided, and perpetually rent by internal 
conflicts, invited the aggression of the Saxons, and it 
is probable that the complete subjugation of Britain 
would have been accomplished by the descendants of 
Alfred, if it had not been for the Danish invasions. 
The position of the Welsh kings after the time of 
Athelstan seems to have been that of tributaries, who 
threw off their allegiance whenever it was possible to do 
so. But still the Anglo-Saxon frontier continued to 
advance. Professor Lloyd has shown, from a careful 
examination of Domesday Book, that even before the 
Norman Conquest the English held the greater part^of 
what is now Flintshire and East Denbighshire, and 
were advancing into the vale of Montgomery and the 
Radnor district.^ The victories of Griffith ap Llywelyn, 
an able prince who succeeded in bringing all Wales 
under his sway, devastated these English colonies ; but 
his defeat by Earl Harold in 1063 restored the English 
ascendancy over these regions. The unimpeachable 
evidence of Domesday Book shows that a considerable 
district in North Wales and a portion of Radnor were 
held respectively by Earl Edwin and Earl Harold before 
the Norman Conquest. Moreover, the fact mentioned 
by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1065, that Harold was 
building a hunting-seat for King Edward at Portskewet, 
after he had subdued it^ suggests that the land between 
Wye and Usk, which Domesday Book reckons under 
Gloucestershire, was a conquest of Harold's.^ 

^ It is doubtful whether Deheubarth ever included the small independent 
states of Gwent, Brecknock, and Glamorgan. 

^ " Wales and the Coming of the Normans," Cymmrodorion Trans. ^ 1S99 
•^ There is an earthwork near Portskewet, a semicircular cliff camp with 



254 MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

The Norman Conqueror was not the man to slacken 
his hold on any territory which had been won by the 
Saxons. But there is no succinct history of his 
conquests in Wales ; we have to make it out, in most 
cases, from notices that are scarcely more than allusive, 
and from the surer, though scanty, ground of documents. 
It is noteworthy that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is so 
hostile to the Norman kings that it discounts their 
successes in Wales. Thus we have only the briefest 
notice of William I.'s invasion of South Wales, which 
was very probably the beginning of the conquest of 
that region ; and several expeditions of William II. are 
spoken of as entirely futile, though as we are told that the 
existing castles were still held by the Normans, or new 
ones were built, it is clear that this summing-up is not 
strictly correct.^ Our Welsh authorities, the Annales 
CambincB and the Brut y Tywysogion^" seem to give a 
fairly candid account of the period, although the dates 
in the Bi^ut are for the most part wrong (sometimes by 
three years), and they hardly ever give us a view of the 
situation as a whole. They tell us when the Welsh 
rushed down and burnt the castles built by the Normans 

three ramparts and two ditches. It is scarcely Hkely that this can be 
Harold's work, as Roman bricks are said to have been found there. 
Willet's Monmouthshire^ p. 244. Athelstan had made the Wye the frontier 
of Wales. Mahnesbury^ ii., 134. 

^ See A.-S. C, anno 1097, and compare the entry for 1096 with the 
account in the Brut for 1093, which shows that the Norman castles had 
been restored, after being for the most part demolished by the Welsh. 

^ The Brut y Tywysogion, or Story of the Princes, exists in no MS. 
older than the 14th century. It and the Annales Cambria have been 
disgracefully edited for the Rolls Series, and the topographical student will 
find no help from these editions. See Mr Phillimore's criticism of them, in 
Y Cymmrodor, vol. xi. The Aberpergwm MS. of the Brut, known also 
as the Gwentian Chronicle, has been printed in the ArchcBologia Caifibrensis 
for 1864 ; it contains a great deal of additional information, but as Mr 
Phillimore observes, so much of it is forgery that none of it can be trusted 
when unsupported. 



I: 



WALES AND THE NORMANS 255 

In the conquered districts, but do not always tell when 
the Norman recovered and rebuilt them. 

Fortunately we are not called upon here to trace the 
history of the cruel and barbarous warfare between 
Normans and Welsh. No one can turn that blood- 
stained page without wishing that the final conquest 
had come two hundred years earlier, to put an end 
to the tragedy of suffering which must have been so 
largely the portion of the dwellers in Wales and the 
Marches after the coming of the Normans.^ Our 
business with both Welsh and Normans is purely 
archseologlcal. We hold no brief for the Normans, nor 
does it matter to us whether they kept their hold on 
Wales or were driven out by the Welsh ; our concern 
is with facts, and the solid facts with which we have 
to deal are the castles whose remains still exist in 
Wales, and whose significance we have to interpret. 

** Wales was under his sway, and he built castles 
therein," says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicley in summing 
up the reign of the Conqueror ; a passage which is 
scarcely consistent with its previous almost complete 
silence about events in Wales. There can be little 
doubt that William aimed at a complete conquest of 
Wales, and that the policy he adopted was the creation 
of great earldoms along the Welsh border, endowed w^ith 
special privileges, one of which was the right of conquer- 
ing whatever they could from the Welsh. ^ To these 
earldoms he appointed some of his strongest men, men 

1 The barbarity on both sides was frightful, but in the case of the Welsh 
it was often their own countrymen, and even near relations, who were the 
victims. And so little patriotism existed then in Wales that the Normans 
, could always find allies amongst some of the Welsh chieftains. Patriotism 
however, is a virtue of more recent growth than the nth century. 

- There is, however, no contemporary evidence for the existence of the 
I Marcher lordships before the end of the 12th century. See Duckett "On 
i the Marches of Wales," Arch. Camb.^ 1881. 



htti 



256 MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

little troubled by scruples of justice or mercy, but 
capable leaders in war or diplomacy. It was an essential 
part of the plan that every conquest should be secured 
by the building of castles, just as had been done in 
England. And we have now to trace very briefly the 
outline of Norman conquest in Wales by the castles 
which they have left behind them. 

We shall confine ourselves to those castles which are 
mentioned in the Brut y Tyivysogion, the Pipe Rolls, or 
other trustworthy documents between 1066 and 12 16, 
the end of King John's reign. Of many of these castles 
only the earthworks remain ; of many others the original 
plan, exactly similar to that of the early castles of 
Normandy and France, is still to be traced, though masked 
by the masonry of a later age. Grose remarked but 
could not explain the fact that we continually read of 
the castles of the Marches being burnt and utterly 
destroyed, and a few months later we find them again 
standing and in working order. This can only, but 
easily, be explained when we understand that they were 
wooden castles built on mottes, quickly restored after 
a complete destruction of the wooden buildings. 

North Wales appears to have been the earliest 
conquest of the Normans, though not the most lasting. 
North Wales comprised the Welsh kingdoms of 
Gwynedd and Powys. Gwynedd covered the present 
shires of Anglesea, Carnarvon, and Merioneth, and 
the mountainous districts round Snowdon.^ Powys 
stretched from the estuary of the Dee to the upper 
course of the Wye, and roughly included Flint, Denbigh, 
Montgomery, and Radnor shires. Hugh of Avranches, 
Earl of Chester, was the great instrument of Norman 

^ The districts of Cyfeiliog and Arwystli, in the centre of Wales, were 
also reckoned in Gwynedd. .{» 

i: 



NORMAN ADVANCE IN NORTH WALES 257 

conquest in Gwynedd, and in the northern part of 
Powys, which lay so near his own dominions. He was 
evidently a man in whose ability William had great 
confidence, as he removed him from Tutbury to the 
more difficult and dangerous position of Chester, and 
gave his earldom palatine privileges ; all the land in 
Cheshire was held under the earl, and he was a sort 
of little king in his county. 

Hugh appears to have at once commenced the 
conquest of North Wales. As Professor Lloyd remarks, 
Domesdav Book shows us Deo^anwy as the most 
advanced Norman post on the North Welsh coast, 
while on the Bristol Channel they had got no further 
than Caerleon.^ In advancing to the valley of the 
Clwyd and building a castle at Rhuddlan, the Normans 
were only securing the district which had already been 
conquered by Harold in 1063, when he burnt the hall 
of King Griffith at Rhuddlan. Nearly the whole of 
Flintshire (its manors are enumerated by Domesday 
Book under Cheshire) was held by Earl Hugh in 1086, 
so that he commanded the entire road from Chester to 
Rhuddlan. His powerful vassal, Robert of Rhuddlan, 
who became the terror of North Wales, besides the 
lands which he held of Earl Hugh, held also directly 
of the King Rhos and Rhufeniog, districts which 
roughly correspond to the modern shire of Denbigh, 
and " Nort Whales" which Professor Lloyd takes to 
mean the remainder of the principality of Gwynedd, 
from which the rightful ruler, Griffith ap Cynan, had 
been driven as an exile to Ireland. 

It does not appear that there was any fortification 
at Rhuddlan^ before the "castle newly erected" by 

^ "Wales and the Coming of the Normans," Cyvimrodorion Trans. ^ 1899. 
^ In the descriptions of castles in this chapter, those which have not 



258 MOTfE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

Earl Hugh and his vassal Robert. They shared 
between them the castle and the new borough which was 
built near it.^ One word about this new borough, 
which will apply to the other boroughs planted by 
Norman castles. There were no towns In Wales of 
any Importance before the Norman Conquest, and this 
civilising institution of the borough is the one great 
set-off to the cruelty and unrighteousness of the 
conquest. Mills, markets, and trade arose where castles 
were seated, and civilisation followed In their train. 

The castle of Hugh and Robert was not the 
magnificent building which still stands at Rhuddlan, 
for that Is entirely the work of Edward I., and there 
is documentary evidence that Edward made a purchase 
of new land for the site of his castle.^ More probably 
Robert and Hugh had a wooden castle on the now 
reduced motte which may be seen to the south of 
Edward's castle. In Cough's time this motte was still 
** surrounded with a very deep ditch, including the 
abbey." Nothing can be seen of this ditch now, except 
on the south side of the motte, where a deep ravine runs 
up from the river. As from Cough's description the 

been specially visited for this work are marked with an asterisk. Those 
which have been visited by others than the writer are marked with initials : 
D. H. M. being Mr D. H. Montgomerie, F.S.A. ; B. T. S., Mr Basil T. 
Stallybrass ; and H. W., the Rev. Herbert White, M.A. This plan will be 
followed in the three succeeding chapters. 

1 " Hugo comes tenet de rege Roelent (Rhuddlan). Ibi T. R. E. jacebat 
Englefield, et tota erat wasta. Edwinus comes tenebat. Quando Hugo 
comes recipit similiter erat wasta. Modo habet in dominio medietatem 
castelli quod Roelent vocatur, et caput est hujus terrae. . . . Robertus de 
Roelent tenet de Hugone comite medietatem ejusdem castelli et burgi, in 
quo habet ipse Robertus lo burgenses et medietatem ecclesias. Ibi est 
novus burgus et in eo lo burgenses. ... In ipso manerio est factum noviter 
castellum similiter Roeland appellatum." D. B., i., 269a, i. 

2 Ayloffe's Rotuli W allies^ p. 75. " De providendo indempnitati magistri 
Ricardi Bernard, Personse Ecclesiae de Rothelan', in recompensionem terrae 
puae occupatae ad placeam castri de Rothelan' elargandam." 



RHUDDLAN— DEGANWY 259 

hillock (called Tut Hill)^ was within the precincts of 
the priory of Black Friars, founded in the 13th century, 
it is extremely probable that Edward gave the site of the 
old castle to the Dominicans when he built his new one.^ 
Another of the castles of Robert of Rhuddlan was 
Deganwy, or Gannoc, which defended the mouth of the 
Conway.^ Here it is said that there was an ancient 
seat of the kings of Gwynedd.* The two conical hills 
which rise here offer an excellent site for fortification, 
one of them being large enough on top for a consider- 
able camp. The Norman Conqueror treated them as 
two mottes, and connected them by walls so as to form 
a bailey below them. The stone fortifications are 
probably the remains of the castle built by the Earl of 
Chester in 1211.^ This castle was naturally a sorely 
contested point, and often passed from hand to hand ; 

^ Tut or Toot Hill means "look-out" hill ; the name is not unfrequently 
given to abandoned mottes. The word is still used locally. Cf. Christison, 
Early Fortifications in Scotland^ p. 16. 

2 Such presentations of abandoned castle sites, and of old wooden castles, 
to the church, were not uncommon. We have seen how the site of 
Montacute Castle was given to the Cluniac monks {ante^ p. 170). Thicket 
Priory, in Yorkshire, occupied the site of the castle of Wheldrake ; and 
William de Albini gave the site and materials of the old castle of Buckenham, 
in Norfolk, to the new castle which he founded there. The materials, but 
not the site, of the wooden castle of Montferrand were given in Stephen's 
reign to Meaux Abbey, and served to build some of the monastic offices. 
Chron. de Melsa^ i., 106. 

^ " Fines suos dilatavit, et in monte Dagannoth, qui mari contiguus est, 
fortissimum castellum condidit." Ordericus^ iii., 284 (edition Prevost). 
The verb condere is never used except for a new foundation. 

* The Brut says that in the year 823 the Saxons destroyed the Castle of 
Deganwy. This is one of the only two instances in which the word castell 
is used in this Welsh chronicle before the coming of the Normans. As the 
MS. is not earlier than the 14th century it would be idle to claim this as a 
proof of the existence of a castle at this period. Castell^ in Welsh, is 
believed to have come straight from the Latin, and was applied to any kind 
of fortress. Lloyd, Welsh Place-names^ " Y Cymmrodor," xi., 28. 

° The "new castle of Aberconwy" mentioned by the Brut in 121 1, 
undoubtedly means this new stone castle built by the earl at Deganwy, as 
he castle of Conway did not then exist. 



260 MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

but It was In English possession In the reign of Henry 
III. It was abandoned when Edward I. built his ereat 
castle at Conway. 

With Its usual Indifference, the Survey mentions no 
castle In Flintshire, but we may be sure that the castle 
of Mold, or Montalto (Fig. 40), was one of the earliest 
by which the Norman acquisitions in that region were 
defended,^ though it is not mentioned in authentic 
history until 114.7. The tradition that it was built by 
Robert de Monte Alto, one of the barons of the Earl of 
Chester, is no doubt correct, though the assumption of 
Welsh legend-makers that the Gwydd Gi^ug^ or great 
tumulus, from which this castle derives its Welsh name, 
existed before the castle, may be dismissed as baseless. 
The motte of Robert de Monte Alto still exists, and is 
uncommonly high and perfect ; it has two baileys, sepa- 
rated by great ditches, and appears to have had a shell on 
top. [D. H. M.] The castle was regarded as specially 
strong, and Its reduction by Owen Gwynedd in 1147 was 
one of the sweetest triumphs that the Welsh ever won.^ 

It Is clear from the Life of Griffith ap Cynan^ that 
the Earl of Chester had conquered and incastellated 
Gwynedd before the accession of William Rufus. This 
valuable document unfortunately gives no dates, but it 
mentions in particular the castle at Aberlleinog,* one at 



* See Pennant, ii., 151 ; and Arch. Camb.., 1891, p. 321. 

'■^ Brut of Tywysogion, ii45« 

^' Published with a Latin translation in Arch. Camb.^ 1866. "He built 
castles in various places, after the manner of the French, in order that he 
might better hold the country." 

^ The Brut also mentions the castle of Aberlleinog, and says it was 1 
built in 1096 ; rebuilt would have been more correct, as the " Life of Griffith ^ 
ap Cynan " shows that it was built by the Earl of Chester, and burnt by 
Griffith, before the expedition of 1096 (really 1098), when Hugh, Earl of ; 
Shrewsbury, met with his death on the shore near this castle, from an arrow 
shot by King Magnus Barefoot, who came to the help of the Welsh. 





o lOO aoo 3CC 

Feet ' 

Welshpool. 



Mold. 



Erddig 
ParK 




Wrexham. 



Mathraval. 



Fig. 40.— Motte-Castles of North Wales. 



[To face2->. 200. 



4 



ABERLLEINOG— CARNARVON— ABER 261 

Carnarvon, one at Bangor, and one in Merioneth. The 
motte at Aberlleinog, near Beaumaris, still exists, and 
the half-moon bailey is traceable, but the curious little 
round towers and revetting wall in masonry on the 
motte were probably built to carry guns at the time of 
the Civil War, when this castle was besieged by the 
Royalists. At Carnarvon the magnificent castle of 
Edward I. has displaced all former erections, yet some 
evidence for a motte-and-bailey plan may be found in 
the fact that the northern portion of the castle has evi- 
dently been once separated by a ditch from the southern, 
and is also much higher.-^ On the hills above Bangor, 
Pennant thousfht he had discovered the remains of Earl 
Hugh's castle, but having carefully examined these 
walls, we are convinced that they never formed part of a 
castle at all, as they are much too thin ; nor are there 
any vestiges of earthworks.^ We are disposed to think 
that instead of at Bangor, the castle of Earl Hugh 
was at Aber, often spoken of as Abermenai in the 
Chronicles, and evidently the most important port on 
the Straits. At Aber there still remains a motte which 
must have belonged to an important castle, as it was 
afterwards one of the seats of Llywelyn ap Jorwerth, 
Prince of Gwynedd. The castle in Merioneth cannot be 
certainly identified. 

In one of the invasions of William Rufus, which 
both the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Brut describe 
as so unsuccessful, we hear that he encamped at Mur 

^ Mr Hartshorne in his paper on Carnarvon Castle {Arch. Joum., vii.) 
cites a document stating that a wall i8 perches long had been begun round 
the ?noat [possibly motainj original not given]. He also cites from the 
Pipe Rolls an item for wages to carriers of earth dug out of the castle. 

^ This ruined wall runs in a straight line through the wood on the ridge 
to the east of the town ; at one place it turns at right angles ; at the back 
of the golf pavilion is a portion still erect, showing that it was a dry built 
wall of very ordinary character. 



262 MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

Castell, a place undoubtedly the same as what is now 
called ToMEN-Y-MuR, a motte standing just inside a 
Roman camp, on the Roman road leading from Shrop- 
shire into Merioneth and Carnarvon. This motte is 
surrounded by a ditch ; there are traces of the usual 
earthen rampart round the top, now mutilated by land- 
slips.^ We may, with great probability, assume that 
this motte was thrown up by William Rufus, and that 
the Roman camp served as a bailey for his invading 
host. Whether it was garrisoned for the Normans we 
cannot say, but it evidently formed an important post on 
a route often followed by their invading armies, as 
Henry I. is said to have encamped there twice.^ It is 
one of the few mottes which stand in a wild and 
mountainous situation, and its purpose no doubt was 
purely military.^ 

The earls of Chester did not retain the sovereignty 
of Gwynedd ; on the death of Rufus, Griffith ap Cynan 
returned, and obtained possession of Anglesea. He 
was favourably received at the court of Henry I., and 
gradually recovered possession of the whole of Gwynedd. 
In 1 1 14 Henry had to undertake a great expedition 
against him to enforce the payment of tribute ; * from 
which, and from the peaceful manner in which Griffith 
seems to have acquired his principality, we may infer that 
this tribute was the bargain of his possession. It very 
likely suited Henry's policy better to have a tributary 
Welsh prince than a too powerful earl of Chester. 

^ Roman masonry has been exposed in the bank of the station. 

^ Life of Griffith ap Cynan j Brut^ 1 1 1 1. 

^ Arch. Camb.^ iv., series 296 and 911. 

^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle dates this expedition in 11 14, and says 
that Henry caused castles to be built in Wales. The Brut mentions the 
large tribute, 11 11. 




NORMAN ADVANCE IN POWYS 263 

The reigns of the three first Norman kings were the 
time in which Norman supremacy in Wales made its 
greatest advances. With the accession of Stephen and 
the civil war which followed it came the great oppor- 
tunity for the Welsh of throwing off the Norman yoke. 
Powys appears to have been the only province which 
remained faithful to the English allegiance, under Madoc 
ap Meredith.^ The history of Norman conquest in 
Powys is more confused than that of Gwynedd, but 
Domesday shows us that Rainald, the Sheriff of Shrop- 
shire, a vassal of Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, was seated 
at Edeyrnion and Cynlle, two districts along the upper 
valley of the Dee.^ Robert of Rhuddlan held part of 
his grant of '* Nort Wales," namely the hundred of 
Arwystli, in the very centre of Wales, under Earl Roger. 
Professor Lloyd remarks, '* Earl Roger claimed the 
same authority over Powys as Earl Hugh over Gwynedd, 
and the theory that the princes of this region were 
subject to the lords of Salop survived the fall of the 
House of Montgomery." ^ 

We have already spoken of Earl Roger de Mont- 
gomeri and his brood of able and unscrupulous sons.^ 
The palatine earldom of Shrewsbury lay along the 
eastern border of central Powys, and must soon have 
proved a menace to that Welsh kingdom. Domesday 
Book shows us that Earl Roger had already planted his 
castle of Montgomery well within the Welsh border at 
that date. But the ambition of Earl Roger and his 

^ Brut^ 1149. Madoc ap Meredith, with the assistance of Ranulf, Earl 
of Chester, prepared to rise against Owen Gwynedd, son of Griffith ap 
■ Cynan. 

t "^ D. B., i., 255a. Professor Lloyd says, " Maelor Saesneg, Cydewain, 

Ceri, and Arwystli came under Norman authority, and paid renders of 
, money or kine in token of subjection." "Wales and the Coming of the 
' Normans," Cymmrodor. Tra7is.^ 1899. 

^ Ibid. ^ See page 130. 



264 MOrrE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

sons stretched beyond their Immediate borders. It Is 
probable that they used the upper Severn valley, which 
they fortified by the castle of Montgomery, and possibly 
by the castle of Welshpool, as their road into Ceredigion, 
for we find Earl Roger named by the Brut as the builder 
of the castle of Cilgerran,^ and some say of Cardigan 
also. Possibly he was helping his son Arnolf in the 
conquest of Pembroke. In 1098 we find his successor, 
Earl Hugh, allied with the Earl of Chester in the 
invasion of Anglesea. 

Montgomery. — This castle Is named from the 
ancestral seat of its founder.^ The motte-and-bailey 
plan is still very apparent in the ruins, though the motte 
Is represented by a precipitous rock, only a few feet 
higher than the baileys attached, and separated from them 
by a ditch cut through the headland. The masonry, 
the chief part of which is the shell wall and towers on 
this isolated rock, is none of It older than the reign of 
Henry HI., when large sums were spent on this castle, 
and it is spoken of in a writ as *'the new Castle of 
Montgomery." ^ Yet even then the whole of the 
defences were not remade in stone, as bretasches of 
timber are ordered in a niandanitts of 1223.* The four 
wards are all roughly rectllateral. The castle was never 
recovered permanently by the Welsh, and after the 
forfeiture of Robert Belesme, the third Earl of Shrews- 
bury, in 1 10 1, the Crown kept this Important border 
fortress in its own hands throughout the Middle Ages. 

Although Montgomery Castle is the only one 
mentioned in that region at the same date, there must 
have been many others, for in 1225 Henry HI. ordered 

^ Brut^ under 1107. The castle is called Dingeraint by this chronicler. 
2 " Ipse comes construxit castrum Muntgumeri vocatum." D. B., 
i., 254. 

2 Montgomery Collections^ x., 56. ^ Close Rolls, i., 558b. 



MONTGOMERY— WELSHPOOL 265 

all who had mottes in the valley of Montgomery to 
fortify them with good bretasches without delay ; ^ and 
the remains of these mottes are still numerous in the 
valley. It is quite possible that the mottes at Moat 
Lane and Llandinam were thrown up to defend the road 
into Arwystli ; but this is conjecture.^ 

Welshpool, alias Pol or Pool (Fig. 40), is also called 
the Castle of Trallung. — In Powell's History of Wales 
(p. 137) it is stated that Cadwgan ap Bleddyn, when 
Henry I. took Cardigan from him, retired to Powys, and 
began to build a castle here. Powell's statements, 
hov/ever, have no authority when unconfirmed, and we 
are unable to find any confirmation of this statement in 
the more trustworthy version of the BrtU, And as the 
House of Montgomeri was firmly established in the valley 
of Montgomery as early as 1086, it seems more probable 
that the two motte-and-bailey castles at Welshpool, 
lower down the Severn valley, are relics of the early 
progress of that family, especially as one of these castles 
is only about a mile east of Offa's Dyke, the ancient 
border. This latter motte is partly cut into by the 
railway, and diminished in size, but the bailey is nearly 
perfect. The other one is in the park of Powys Castle, 
and is an admirable specimen of its class. The breast- 
work round the top of the motte remains. [H. W.] It 
seems probable that this was the precursor of Powys 
Castle, and was abandoned at an early period, as the 
newer castle was known by the name of Castell Coch, or 

^ " Firmiter precipimus omnibus illis qui motas habent in valle de Munt- 
gumeri quod sine dilatione motas suas bonis bretaschiis firmari faciant ad 
securitatem et defensionem suam et partium illarum." Close Rolls^ ii., 42. 

- Mr Davies Pryce has suggested that the Hen Domen, a very perfect 
motte and bailey within a mile of the present castle of Montgomery was 
the original castle of Montgomery, and that the one built by Henry III. 
was on a new site. This of course is quite possible, but I do not see that 
[•; there is sufficient evidence for it. See Eng. Hist. Rev.^ xx., 709. 



266 MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

the Red Castle, as early as 1233.^ Leland states that 
there were formerly two castles of two different Lords 
Marchers at Welshpool ; ^ possibly this throws some 
light on the existence of these two motte-castles. 

When Henry IL came to the throne in 11 54, one of 
the many questions which he had to settle was the 
Welsh question. His first expedition against North 
Wales was in 1157. Here he was one day placed in 
grave difficulties, and fortune was only restored by his 
personal courage. But in spite of this we learn even 
from the Welsh chronicler that he continued his advance 
to Rhuddlan, and that the object of the expedition, 
which was the restoration of Cadwalader, one of the 
sons of Griffith ap Cynan, to his lands, was accom- 
plished. The English chronicler Roger of Wendover 
says that Henry recovered all the fortresses which had 
been taken from his predecessors, and rebuilt Basing- 
werk Castle ; and when he had reduced the Welsh to 
submission, returned in triumph to England. The 
undoubted facts of the Pipe Rolls show us that in the 
year 11 59 Henry had in his hands the castles of 
Overton, Hodesley, Wrexham, Dernio, Ruthin, and 
Rhuddlan, castles which would give him command of 
the whole of Flintshire and of East Denbigh and the 
valley of the Clwyd. Similarly, after the expedition of 
1 165, sometimes stated to have been only disastrous, we 
find him in possession of the castles of Rhuddlan, 
Basingwerk, Prestatyn, Mold, Overton, and Chirk ; ^ so 
that after the battle of Crogen, or Chirk, he actually 
held the battlefield. 

^ Brut y Tywysogion. ^ litn.^ vii., i6. 

^ Pipe Rolls ^ 1 1 58-1 164. It should be noted that the Brut does not 
claim the battle of Crogen as a Welsh victory. 



BASINGWERK— OVERTON— DERNIO 267 

We are thus Introduced to an entirely new group of 
castles, Rhuddlan being the only one which we have 
heard of before. But it is highly probable that most of 
these castles were originally raised by the earls of 
Chester or Shrewsbury, and were in Henry's hands by 
escheat. 

^Basingwerk. — The werk referred to in this name 
has probably nothing to do with the castle, but refers to 
Wat's Dyke, which reaches the Dee at this point. The 
abbey at this place was founded by an earl of Chester,^ 
which makes it probable that the castle also was origin- 
ally his work, especially as Wendover says that Henry 
rebuilt it. There is no trace of a castle near the 
abbey,^ but less than a mile off, near Holywell Church, 
there is a headland called Bryn y Castell, with a small 
mound at the farther end, which has far more claim to 
be the site of Baslngwerk Castle, especially as it is 
mentioned in John's reign (when it was retaken from 
the W^elsh) as the castle of Hallwell.^ 

Overton, in East Denbigh, on the middle course of 
the Dee. In custody of Roger de Powys for the king 
in 1 1 59- 1 1 60. As Leland speaks of the ditches and hill 
of the castle, it was probably a motte-castle of the usual 
type. " One parte of the ditches and Hille of the castel 
yet remaynlth ; the residew is in the botom of Dee.""* 
It Is probably all there now, as not a vestige can be 
traced. [B. T. S.] 

Dernio, or Dernant. — There can be no question that 

^ Lyttleton's History of Henry II. 

'^ Pennant thought he saw vestiges of a castle " in the foundations of a 
wall opposite the ruins" [of the abbey]; but his accuracy is not unim- 
peachable. 

^ Pipe Rolls, 1211-1213. "For the money expended in rescuing the 
castles of Haliwell and Madrael, ;^ioo." 

^ ////?., p. 67. Toulmin Smith's edition of Welsh portion. 



268 MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

Dernio is Edeyrnlon, the valley stretching from Bala 
Lake to Corwen. Domesday Book tells us that Rainald 
the Sheriff, a ** man " of Earl Roger of Shrewsbury, held 
two "fines" in Wales, Chenlei and Dernio, that is, 
Cynllaith and Edeyrnion.^ Towards the end of the 
nth century there must have been a Norman castle at 
Rug in Edeyrnion, as it was to this place that the earls 
of Chester and Shrewsbury enticed Griffith ap Cynan, 
the rightful ruler of Gwynedd ; they then sent him 
prisoner to Chester for twelve years."^ Very likely the 
castle of Dernio, which Henry IL was putting into a 
state of defence in 1159,^ was at Rug, 1^ miles from 
Corwen, where there is still a motte in some private 
grounds, and there was formerly a bailey also/ The 
place was the seat of an important family in later times. 
At any rate, the castle was in Edeyrnion, and shows that 
Henry was holding the northern part of Merionethshire. 

HoDESLEY ; undoubtedly *' The Rofts " near Gres- 
ford, a motte with remains of a bailey, on a headland 
above the river Alyn. It is in the former lordship of 
Hoseley.^ 

Wrexham, the Wristlesham of the Pipe Rolls (Fig. 
40). — Henry was paying for the custody of this castle 
and that of Hoseley in 1160 and 1161. Both castles are 
in the district of Bromfield, which was one of the early 
acquisitions of the earls of Chester. Mr Palmer remarks 

1 D. B., i., 255a. 2 Life of Griffith. 

^ Pipe Roll, 1159-1160. £a,^ 3s. 4d. paid to Roger de Powys "ad 
custodiam castelli de Dernio" ; " In munitione turris de Dermant £fi^ 4s. od." 
It cannot be doubted that these two names mean the same place. 

* Arch. Cajnb.^ iv., 1887. 

^ At the time of the Survey the manor of Gresford (Gretford) was 
divided between Hugh, Osbern, and Rainald. Osbern had 6^ hides and a 
mill grinding the corn of his court (curias suae). This probably is a reference 
to this castle. D. B., i., 268. It was waste T. R. E. but is now worth 
iZ, 5s. od. 



WREXHAM— RUTHIN— CHIRK 269 

that this district was probably ceded to the princes of 
Powys, In return for the help which they often rendered 
to the English king against other Welsh princes, as it 
is found as part of Powys at a later period.^ There are 
no remains of any castle at Wrexham itself, but about a 
mile off, in Erddig Park, there is a motte and bailey of 
considerable size (though the motte is reduced) showing 
that a castle of some importance once stood there. 
There were formerly some remains of masonry.^ Wat's 
Dyke has been utilised to form one side of the bailey. 
It is probable that the importance of the two Bromfield 
castles, Wrexham and Hoseley, was lost when the 
princes of Powys built their castle on Dinas Bran. 

^Ruthin. — This important castle, defending the 
upper valley of the Clwyd, was probably in existence 
long before Henry II. repaired it in 1160, and may 
perhaps be attributed to Earl Hugh of Chester. The 
plan shows distinctly that it was once a motte and bailey, 
though the castle is now transformed into a modern 
house.^ 

Chirk, or Crogen, in the valley of the Ceiriog. — 
Henry was paying for the custody of this castle in 11 64, 
and was provisioning it in 1167.^ King John paid for 
the erection of a bretasche there, possibly after some 
destruction by the Welsh. ^ Probably the first castle of 
Chirk did not stand in the commanding situation now 
occupied by the castle of Edward I. s reign, but is 

^ " On the Town of Holt,'' by A. N. Palmer, Arch. Camb.^ 1907. 

^ Beauties of England and Wales, North Wales, p. 589. I am glad to 
find that Mr Palmer, in the new edition of his Ancient Tenures of Land in 
the Marches of Wales, confirms the identifications which I have made of 
these two last castles, pp. 108, 116, 118. 

^ Arch. Cajnb., 5th ser., iv., 352. Camden's statement that this castle 
was founded in Edward I.'s reign shows that he was unacquainted with the 
Pipe Rolls. 

^ Pipe Rolls, 1 1 64- 1 165, and 11 67-1 168. ^ Pipe Rolls, 12 12-12 13. 



270 MOTTE-CASTLES IN NORTH WALES 

represented by a small motte In a garden near the 
Ceiriog stream, and close to the church. An Anglo- 
Norman poem of the 13th century attributes the first 
building of this castle to William Peverel, Lord of 
Whittlngton and Ellesmere, and says he placed it "on 
the water of Ceiriog."^ No doubt it defended the 
passage of the stream, and an Important road into 
Shropshire. 

Prestatyn. — This castle defended the coast road 
from Chester to Rhuddlan. Henry IL granted it to 
Robert Banaster for his services In 1165.^ It was 
destroyed by Owen Gwynedd in 1167, ^^^ does not 
appear to have been rebuilt. A low motte with a half- 
moon bailey, and a larger square enclosure, still remain. 
[B. T. S.] 



Mr Davis has remarked that John was more successful 
In extending his authority over the British Isles than 
In anything else.^ In 121 1 he led an expedition into the 
heart of Wales, and reduced his son-in-law Llywelyn ap 
Jorwerth to complete submission. As usual, the 
expedition was marked by the building or repair of 
castles. The Earl of Chester restored Deganwy, 
which shows that the English frontier was again 
advanced to the Conway ; he also repaired the castle 
of Holywell, which the Pipe Roll shows to have been 
recovered from the Welsh about this time.* These Rolls 
also show that In 1212-1213 John was paying for works at 



1 "Sur I'evve de Keyroc," History of Fulk Fitz Warine^ edited by 
T. Wright for Warton Club. 

2 Victoria County HistoTj of Lancashire^ i., 369. 
^ England under the Normans and Angevins. 
■* "Ad recutienda castella de Haliwell et Madrael ^^loo." Pipe Rolls. 

1212-1213. 



J 



^kA 



MATHRAVAL— EGLOE—YALE 271 

the castles of Carreghova, Ruthin, and Chirk, as well as 
at the following castles, which have not been mentioned 
before. 

Mathraval, Madrael in the Pipe Rolls (Fig. 40), 
near Melfod in Montgomeryshire, defending the valley 
of the Vyrnwy. — Here was the chief royal residence of 
Powys ; ^ but the castle was built in John's reign by 
Roger de Vipont. It occupied 2 J acres, and the motte 
is In one corner of the area, which is square,^ and 
surrounded only by banks ; though ruined foundations 
are found In parts of the castle. John himself burned 
the castle in 121 1, when the Welsh were besieging it,^ 
but the Pipe Roll [1212-121'^ shows that he afterwards 
repaired it. [D. H. M.] 

Egloe, or Eulo, called by Leland Castle Yollo. — 
On the Chester and Holywell road, about 8 miles from 
Holywell. The mention in the Pipe Roll of pikes and 
ammunition provided for this castle In 1212-1213 ^^ the 
first ancient allusion to It with which we are acquainted. 
It is a motte-and-balley castle, with additions in 
masonry which are probably of the reign of Henry HI. 
The keep is of the ** thimble" plan, a rare instance.* 
[B. T. S.] 

^Yale. — The Brut tells us that in 1 148 (read 1 150) 
Owen Gwynedd built a castle in Yale. Powell Identified 
this with Tomen y Rhodwydd, a motte and bailey on 
the road between Llangollen and Ruthin. Yale, 
however. Is the name of a district, and there can be 
little doubt that the castle of Yale was the motte and 

^ Wade Evans, Welsh Mediceval Law^ vol. xii. 

'■^ It has in fact every appearance of a Roman camp. 

3 Brut^ 121 1. 

^ The castle of Hawarden, which is only about i\ miles from that of 
Euloe, is not mentioned in any records before 121 5 ; but it is believed to 
have been a castle of the Norman lords of Mold. It also is on a motte. 



272 MOTTE-CASTI.ES IN NORTH WALES 

bailey at Llanarmon, which for a long period was the 
captU of Yale.^ Yale undoubtedly belonged to the 
Normans when Domesday Book was compiled," and it 
is therefore not unlikely that these earthworks were first 
thrown up by the Earl of Chester. The castle was 
burnt by Jorwerth Goch In 1 158, but restored by John in 
1212. One of the expenses entered for that year is 
** for iron mallets for breaking the rocks in the ditch of 
the castle of Yale."^ This ditch cut in the rock still 
remains, as well as some foundations on the motte/ 
which is known as Tomen y Vardra, or the Mount of 
of the demesne.^ 



How long the two last-mentioned groups of castles 
continued In Anglo-Norman hands we do not attempt 
to say. North Wales, as Is well known, reaped a 
harvest of new power and prosperity through the civil 
war of the end of John's reign, and the ability of 
Llywelyn ap Jorwerth. Our task ends with the reign 
of John. We have only to remark that until the Pipe 
Rolls of Henry HI.'s reign have been carefully searched, 
it is impossible to say with certainty what castles of 
North Wales, or if any, were still held by the English 
king. 

^ I am indebted for this identification to the kindness of Mr A. N. 
Palmer of Wrexham. 

2 D. B., i., 254. The manor is called Gal. It had been waste T. R, E., 
but was now worth 40s. 

3 Pz^^ i^^// (unpublished), 12 12-12 13. 
* Whereas there is no rock in the ditch of the neighbouring motte of 1 

Tomen y Rhodwydd. Pennant (and others following him) most inaccurately / 
describe Tomen y Rhodwydd as two artificial mounts, whereas there is only 
one, with the usual embanked court. See Appendix K. 

" " The Maer dref [which Vardra represents] may be described as the ; 
home farm of the chieftain." Rhys and Brynmor Jones, The Welsh People^ 
p. 401. 

t 

: S 

f, 



CHAPTER IX 

MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

It is not possible to fix certain dates for all the Norman 
conquests of the several provinces of South Wales. 
These conquests proceeded from various points, under 
different leaders. We might have expected that the 
earliest advances would have been on the Herefordshire 
border, the earldom of Hereford having been given by 
William I. to William FitzOsbern, one of his most 
trusted and energetic servants. Ordericus tells us that 
FitzOsbern and Walter de Lacy first Invaded the 
district of Brecknock, and defeated three kings of 
the Welsh. ^ This looks as though the conquest of 
Brecknock was then begun. But It was not completed 
till the reign of Rufus ; in 1093 Bernard of Neufmarche 
defeated and slew Rhys ap Tudor, King of South Wales, 
in a battle which the Welsh chronicler speaks of as the 
fall of the kina"dom of the Britons.^ William FItz- 

<_5 

Osbern died in 107 1, and he had scarcely time to 
accomplish more than the building of the border castles 
of WIgmore, Clifford, Ewias, and Monmouth, and the 
incastellatlon of Gwent, that is the country between the 
Wye and the Usk, which had already been conquered 
by Harold. 

It seems probable that Pembrokeshire was one 

^ Ordericus, ii., 218, 219 (edition Prevost). ^ Bruty Tywysogion^ 1091. 
273 S 



I 



274 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

of the earliest Norman conquests In South Wales, 
as in 1073 and 1074 the Brut tells of two 
expeditions of "the French" into Dyfed, a region which 
included not only what we now call Pembrokeshire, but 
also Strath Towy, which comprised an extensive district 
on both sides of the valley of the Towy/ The Annales 
CambricB name Hugh de Montgomeri, Earl Roger's 
eldest son, in connection with the second of these 
expeditions, seven years before the expedition of King 
William into Wales in 1081.^ The House of Montgomeri 
certainly took the most conspicuous part in the conquest 
of Dyfed and Cardigan, which was completed, accord- 
ing to the Brut, in 1093.^ Arnulf of Montgomeri, fifth 
son of Earl Roger, was the leader of this conquest. 
But his father must at the same time have been 
operating in Cardigan, as the building of the castle 
of Cilgerran, which is on the very borders of Pembroke 
and Cardigan, is attributed to him. 

How far Earl Rosier made himself master of Cere- 
digion it is impossible to say. Later writers say that 
he built the castle of Cardigan, but we have not been 
able to find any early authority for this statement, which 
in itself is not improbable. Powell's History makes him 
do homage to William Rufus for the lordship of Cardigan, 
but here again the authority is doubtful.* The fact 

1 Brut^ 1071. "The French ravage Ceredigion (Cardigan) and Dyfed"; 
1072, "The French devastated Ceredigion a second time. 

2 A.-S. C, 1081. "This year the king led an army into Wales, and there 
he set free many hundred persons " — doubtless, as Mr Freeman remarks, 
captives taken previously by the Welsh. The Brut treats this expedition as 
merely a pilgrimage to St David's ! 

2 "Then the French came into Dyfed and Ceredigion, which they have 
still retai?ied, and fortified the castles, and seized upon all the land of the 
Britons." ^r///, 109 1 = 1093. 

* Powell's History of Wales professes to be founded on that of Caradoc, 
a Welsh monk of the 12th century ; but it is impossible to say how much of 
it is Caradoc, and how much Powell, or Wynne, his augmentor. 



NORMANS IN CARDIGAN 275 

that a castle in or near Aberystwyth was not built 
until 1 109 may indicate that the conquest of Northern 
Cardigan was not completed till it became the portion 
of the De Clares. This took place in 1109, when 
Henry I. deposed Cadwgan, a Welsh prince whom he 
had made Lord of Cardigan, and gave the lordship to 
Gilbert de Clare, who immediately proceeded to build 
the above-mentioned castle, and to restore Earl Roger's 
castle at Cilgerran (Dingeraint).^ From this time the 
castle and district of Cardigan continued to be an 
appanage of the House of Clare (of course with frequent 
interruptions from Welsh invasions), and of the family 
of William IMarshall, to whom the Clare lands came 
by marriage. The authority of these earls was suspended 
during the reign of Henry II., when he made Rhys 
ap Griffith, who had possessed himself of Ceredigion 
by conquest, Justiciar of South Wales, but in the reigns 
of John and Henry III., the Close Rolls show that 
Cardigan Castle and county were generally in the hands 
of the Marshalls. 

The conquest of Pembrokeshire must have been 
closely followed by that of what is now Carmarthenshire, 
which was then reckoned as part of Dyfed.^ W^e first 
hear of the castle of Rhyd y Gors in 1094,^ but it 
evidently existed earlier. This castle we believe to 
have been the important castle of Carmarthen (see 
posf). It was founded by William, son of Baldwin, 
sheriff of Devon, and cousin of the Gilbert de Clare 
who at a later period was made Lord of Cardigan by 

^ Brut^ 1 107. 

2 " In the Bruf^ Ystrad Tovvy does not only mean the vale of Towy, but 
a very large district, embracing most of Carmarthenshire and part of 
Glamorganshire. Welsh Historical Documents^ by Egerton Phillimore, in 
Cyrmnrodor^ vol. xi. 

^ Brut^ 1092. 



276 MOITE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

Henry I. We thus see at what an early date this 
important family made its appearance in Welsh history. 

The conquest of Brecknock (Brecheiniog) we have 
already briefly referred to. It must have begun as early 
as 1088, for in that year Bernard de Neufmarche gave 
to St Peter's Abbey at Gloucester the church and manor 
of Glasbury. The inheritance of Bernard passed by 
marriage to the De Braoses, and from them to the 
Mortimers. It is convenient to mention in this con- 
nection the Norman conquest of Radnor, of which the 
De Braoses and Mortimers were the heroes. A charter 
of Philip de Braose, not later than 1096, is dated at 
" Raddenoam." ^ Even during the anarchy of Stephen's 
reign, the Mortimers were able to maintain their hold 
on this district, for the Bru^ relates that in 1145, Hugh, 
son of Ralph Mortimer, conquered Malienydd and 
Elvael the second time." These two districts properly 
belong to Powys, though geographically in South Wales. 

We leave to the last the conquest of Glamorgan, 
which may possibly have been one of the earliest, but 
whose date Is still a matter of dispute, owing to the 
legendary nature of the Aberpergwm version of the 
Brut, the only one which even alludes to this conquest. 
We have, however, an initial date given us in the year 
1082, when the Brut y Tywysogion tell us of the 
building of Cardiff Castle.^ The conquest of '' Mor- 
gannwg," that is the country between the Usk and the 
Neath, was the most permanent of any of those 
accomplished by the Normans in Wales, but its details 

1 Lloyd, "Wales and the Coming of the Normans," Cyinmrodor. Trans,^ 
1899 : refers to Marchegay, Chartes du Prieurie de Monmouth. 

2 Brut, 1 143. 

^ The date given is 1080, but as the dates in the Brut at this period are 
uniformly two years too early, we alter them accordingly throughout this 
chapter. ; 



CONQUEST OF GLAMORGAN 277 

are the most obscure of any. The earHer version of the 
Brtit takes no notice of the conquest of Glamorgan ; 
the later version which goes by the name of the 
Gwentian Chronicle^ tells us that the Norman Robert 
FItz Hamon, being called In to the help of one Welsh 
prince against another, conquered Glamorgan for him- 
self, and divided it amongst his followers, who built 
castles In all parts of the country. The date given is 
1088. It seems to be agreed by historians that while 
the facts of Robert Fitz Hamon's existence and of his 
conquest of Glamorgan are certain, the details and 
the list of followers given in this chronicle are quite 
untrustworthy.^ 

The district called Gower did not then form part of 
Glam.organ, as it does now, though it Is still ecclesiastically 
separate. If we are to believe the Aberpergwm Bin.it, 
it must have been conquered In 1094, when William de 
Londres, one of the '* knights " of Robert Fitz Hamon, 
built a strong castle in Cydweli (Kidwelly).^ 

We will now briefly notice such of the castles of these 
various districts as are mentioned in the sources to which 
we have already referred in our last chapter, taking them 
in the order of the modern counties in which they are 
found. 

^ Now more often called the Aberpergwm Brut, from the place where 
the MS. is preserved. 

^ See Freeman, Norman Conquest, v., 820 ; William Rufus, ii., 79 ; and 
Prof. Tout, in Y Cyminerodor, ix., 208. For this reason we do not use the 
list of castles given in this chronicle, but confine ourselves to those 
mentioned in the more trustworthy Brut y Tywysogion. 

^ The same MS. says, under the year 1099, "Harry Beaumont came to 
Gower, against the sons of Caradog ap Jestin, and won many of their lands, 
and built the castle of Abertawy (Swansea) and the castle of Aberllychor 
(Loughor), and the castle of Llanrhidian (Weobley), and the castle of 
Penrhys (Penrice), and established himself there, and brought Saxons from 
Somerset there, where they obtained lands ; and the greatest usurpation of 
all the Frenchmen was his in Gower." 



278 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

Castles of Pembrokeshire. 

Pembroke. — Giraldus says that Arnulf de Mont- 
gomerl first built this castle of sods and wattles, a 
scanty and slender construction, in the reign of Henry 
I.^ This date, however, must certainly be wrong, for 
the castle sustained a siege from the Welsh in 1094, and 
in 1098 Arnulf gave the chapel of St Nicholas in his 
castle of Pembroke to the abbey of St Martin at Sees.^ 
There is no motte at Pembroke Castle ; the magnificent 
keep (clearly of the 13th century or later) stands in a 
small ward at the edge of a cliff,^ separated by a former 
ditch from the immense encircling bailey whose walls 
and towers are clearly of Edwardian date. The words 
of Giraldus "a castle of wattles and turf" might lead us 
to think that the first castle was a motte of the usual 
type, but the use which he makes of the same expression 
in his work on Ireland leads one to think that he means 
a less defensible fort, a mere bank and fence.* There is 
some reason, moreover, to doubt whether the present 
castle of Pembroke stands on the same site as Arnulf s, 
as after the banishment of the latter, Gerald, the royal 
Seneschal of Pembroke " built the castle anew in the 
place called Little Cengarth."'^ 

But however this may be, the castle of Pembroke 
was certainly strong enough in 1094 to resist a great 

1 " Primus hoc castrum Arnulphus de Mongumeri sub Anglorum rege 
Henrico primo ex virgis et cespite, tenue satis et exile construxit." Itin. 
Cambrics^ R. S., 89, 

^ Quoted from Duchesne in Mon. Aiig.^ vol. vi. 

^ See Mr Cobbe's paper on Pembroke Castle in Arch. Camb., 1883, 
where reasons are given for thinking that the present ward was originally, 
and even up to 1300, the whole castle. 

* A motte-castle of earth and wood was certainly not regarded as " a 
weak and slender defence " in the time of Giraldus. 

^ Brut y Tywysogioii^ 109 5- 



i 






CASTLES OF PEMBROKESHIRE 279 

insurrection of the Welsh, when all the castles of south- 
west Wales were destroyed, except Pembroke and Rhyd 
y Gors. And it continued to be one of the chief strong- 
holds of English power in South Wales until Edward 
I. completed the conquest of the country. Its splendid 
situation on a high cliff at the mouth of an excellent 
harbour, to which supplies could be brought by sea, was 
one of the secrets of its strength. A passage cut in the 
rock led from the castle to a cave below opening on to 
the water. 

^Newport, or Trefdaeth, was the head of the Barony 
of Keymes, an independent lordship founded at the time 
of the first Norman advance, by Martin of Tours. ^ 
There is no mention of it before 12 15. The present 
ruined castle of Newport is not earlier than the 13th 
century, but about ij miles higher up the river, at 
Llanhyfer, is a fine motte and bailey, which probably 
mark the site of the first castle of Martin of Tours. ^ 

WiSTON, alias Gwys or Wiz. — First mentioned in 
1 148, when it was taken by the Welsh. ^ At a later 
period we find it one of the castles of the Earl of 
Pembroke. There is a motte still remaining, with a 
shell wall on top, 6 feet thick, having a plain round 
arched entrance. This masonry is probably the work of 
William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, as he restored the 
castle in 1220 after it had been razed to the ground by 
Llywelyn ap Jorwerth.* The bailey is large and bean- 
shaped. 

Lawhaden, or Llanyhadein, or Lauwadein. — First 

1 Bridgeman's Hist, of South Wales, 17. 

^ Arch. Camb., 3rd ser., v., a paper on Newport Castle, in which the 
writer says that there are tzuo mottes at Llanhyfer, the larger one ditched 
round. The Ordnance Map only shows one. 

^ Brut y Tywysogion, 1146. 

* Patent Rolls of He?iry III., 255 ; Feeder a, i., 161. 



280 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

mention in 1192.^ It afterwards became a palace of the 
bishops of St David's. There is no motte, though the 
circular outline of the platform on which the fine ruins 
of the castle stand, very much suggests a lowered motte. 

Haverfordwest. — First mentioned In the Pipe 
Roll of 1 2 14- 1 2 1 5, when it was in the custody of the Earl 
of Pembroke. Although this castle is now a gaol, and 
the whole site masked with gaol buildings, the motte 
can still be seen distinctly from one side, though the 
keep which stands upon it is blocked by buildings. The 
ditch which went round the motte can also be traced. 
[H. W.] 

Narberth. — This castle is first mentioned in 11 15, 
when It was burnt by the Welsh. Said to have been 
the castle of Stephen Perrot.^ The present ruins are 
entirely of the 13th century, and there is no motte; but 
Lewis states that the first castle was in another site, 
between the present town and Templeton ; about which 
we have no Information. 

Tenby. — First mention in 1 152. An important coast 
station. The small and curious round keep is placed on 
the highest point of a small Island ; it is a miniature 
copy of the keep of Pembroke, and was probably built 
by one of the earls Marshall, not earlier than the 13th 
century. There is no motte, nor was one needed in 
such a situation. 

Castles of Cardigan. 

Cardigan Castle, or Aberteifi, has been so much 
transformed by the Incorporation of the keep into a 
modern house that nothing decisive can be said about 

^ Brut y Tywysogion, 1192. 

2 Bridgeman says that Narberth was given to Stephen Perrot by Arnulf 
de Montgomeri, but gives no authority for this statement. 



CASTLES OF CARDIGAN 281 

its original plan, but there is nothing to foreclose the 
idea of a previous motte, and Speed's plan of i6i i seems 
to show that the keep and the small ward attached to it 
w^ere on a higher elevation than the bailey. That the 
first castle was a wooden one is rendered almost certain 
by the fact that Rhys ap Griffith, after having 
demolished the previous castle, rebuilt it with stone and 
mortar, in the reign of Henry 11/ The Welsh 
chronicler speaks of this castle as the key of all Wales, 
an exaggeration certainly, but it was undoubtedly the 
most important stronghold of South Ceredigion. [H. W.] 

CiLGERRAN, or Dingeraint (Fig. 41). — This castle 
was certainly built by Earl Roger ; ^ a castle of great 
importance, in a magnificent situation. Like nearly all 
the castles in our Welsh list, it was repeatedly taken by 
the Welsh and retaken from them. The present 
m.asonry is of the 13th century, but the original motte- 
and-bailey plan is quite discernible. [H. W.] It was 
a connecting link between the castles of Pembrokeshire 
and those of Cardigan, and stands near a road leading 
directly from Tenby and Narberth to Cardigan. 

Aberystwyth, also Lampadarn Vaur, also Aber- 
rheiddiol.^ In 1109 Henry I. deposed Cadwgan, a 
Welsh prince who had purchased from the king the 
government of Cardigan, and gave that country to 
Gilbert, son of Richard, Earl of Clare, who took 
possession, and built a castle ''opposite to Llanbadarn, 
near the mouth of the river Ystwyth."^ This was 

^ Brut, 1 171. 

^ Ibid., 1 107. "Earl Gilbert built a castle at Dingeraint, where Earl 
Roger had before founded a castle." 

'^ The castle of Aberrheiddiol is probably the name of the present castle 
of Aberystwyth when it was first built, as Lewis Morris says that the river 
Rheiddiol formerly entered the sea near that point. Quoted by Meyrick, 
History of Cardigan, p. 488. 

^ Brut, 1 107. 



282 iMOlTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

undoubtedly the precursor of the modern castle of 
Aberystwyth, but it is doubtful whether it was on the 
same site ; the present ruins are not opposite Llanba- 
darn. The castle was as important for the defence of 
N. Cardigan as Cardigan Castle for the south. It was 
taken at least seven times by the Welsh, and burnt at 
least five times. The present ruins are not earlier than 
the time of Edward I., and there is no motte or keep. 
[H. W.] 

^Blaenporth, or Castell Gwythan (Fig. 41). — Also 
built by Gilbert de Clare, and evidently placed to defend 
the main road from Cardigan to Aberystwyth. The 
motte and bailey are still remarkably perfect, as shown 
by the 25-inch Ordnance Map. 

YsTRAD Peithyll. — Another of Gilbert de Clare's 
castles, as it was inhabited by his steward. It w^as 
burnt by the Welsh in 1115,^ and is never mentioned 
again, but its motte and ditch still survive, with some 
signs of a bailey, close to the little stream of the 
Peithyll, near Aberystwyth. [H. W.] 

Chastell Gwalter, or Llanfihangel, in Pengwern 
(Fig. 41). — Castle of Walter de Bee, probably one of 
the barons of Gilbert de Clare. First mentioned in 
1 137, when it w^as burned by the Welsh. ^ There is a 
small but well-made motte and part of an adjoining 
bailey standing in a most commanding position on a 
high plateau. The ditch of the motte is excavated in 
the rock. [D. H. M.] 

^Dinerth. — Also burnt in 1137 ; restored by Roger, 
Earl of Clare, in 11 59, after which it underwent many 
vicissitudes.^ Probably originally a castle of the Clares. 
*' In the grounds of Mynachty, in the parish of 

^ Brut, 1 1 13. 2 /^/^.^ 1 135. 

3 Ibid., 1 1 35, 1 1 57, 1 199, 1203, 1207. 







CiLGERRAK. 



O lOO 200 300 





Blaenporth. 



ChASTELL G WALTER. 



Fig. 4 1. — Motte-Castles of South Wales. 



[ To face p. 282. 



I 



CASTLES OF CARDIGAN 283 

Llanbadarn Tref Eglwys, is a small hill called Hero 
Castell, probably the site of the keep of DInerth 
Castle."^ The O.M. shows a small motte and bailey 
placed between two streams. 

"^Caerwedrgs, or Castell Llwyndafydd, also burned by 
the Welsh in 1137,^ after which it is not mentioned 
again. '' A very large moated tumulus, with founda- 
tions of walls on the top."^ Probably a Clare castle. 

"^ Humphrey's Castle, now Castle Howel, from one 
of its Welsh conquerors. The original name shows 
that it was built by a Norman, and It was restored by 
Roger, Earl of Clare, in 1159/ A moated tumulus near 
the river Clettwr marks the site of Humphrey's Castle." 

YsTRAD Meurug, or Meyric, at the head of the valley 
of the Teifi, and commanding the pass leading over 
Into Radnorshire. — Built by Gilbert de Clare when he 
reconquered Cardigan, and one of his most important 
castles.^ Its importance is shown by the fact that it 
had a small stone keep, the date of which cannot now 
be determined, as only the foundations remain, buried 
under sods. There is no motte, and the bailey can only 
be guessed at by a portion of the ditch which still 
remains on the N. side, and by two platforms which 
appear to be artificially levelled. The castle is about 
three miles from the Sarn Helen or Roman road 
through Cardigan. 

^PoNT Y Stuffan, or Stephen's Bridge, near 
Lampeter. — Burnt by the Welsh In 1138, and not 

^ Meyrick's Hist, of Cardigan., p. 293. Dinerth is not the same as 
Llanrhystyd, though Lewis {Top, Did. Wales) says it is ; the two places 
have separate mention in Brut., 11 57. Mr Clark mentions the motte. 
M. M. A., i., 115. 

^ Brut., 1 135. ^ Meyrick's Hist, of Cardigan^ p, 232. 

* Brut., 1 1 57. •'' Beauties of England and Wales., Cardigan, p. 502. 

^ Brut^ under 1 1 1 3. 



284 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

again mentioned/ In the outskirts of the town of 
Lampeter is — or was — a lofty moated tumulus (not 
shown on O.M.), and traces of a quadrangular court.^ 
As it is also called Castell Ystuffan, it was probably- 
built by Stephen, the Norman constable of Cardigan. 
There appears to be another castle mound at Lampeter 
itself, near the church. Lampeter was an important 
post on the Roman road up the valley of the Telfi. 

'-^Nant yr Arian. — This castle is only mentioned 
once. In the partition of Cardigan and Pembroke which 
took place in 1216, during the most disastrous part of 
John's reign. ^ There are two ^'castellau" marked at 
Nant yr Arian in the N. of Cardiganshire in the 
O.M. ; neither of them look like mottes. This castle, 
as well as that of Ystrad Pelthyll, seems to have been 
placed to defend the road from Aberystwyth to Llanid- 
loes, which would be the chief highway between Shrop- 
shire and Ceredigion. 

Castles of Carmarthenshire. 

Rhyd y Gors, or Rhyd Cors. — We have no hesitation 
In adopting the opinion of the late Mr Floyd, that this 
is another name for the castle of Carmarthen.* As it 
and Pembroke were the only castles which held out 
during the great Welsh revolt of 1096,^ it is evident that 
they were the two strongest and best defended places, 
therefore the most Important. Carmarthen also was a 
Roman city, and Its walls were still standing in 
Giraldus' time ; ^ it was therefore the place where one 

1 In the Rolls edition of the BrutxSixs castle is called Llanstephan, but 
the context makes it probable that Lampeter is meant ; the Annales 
CainbricB say "the castle of Stephen.'' 

2 Beauties of England and Wales, p. 492. ^ Brul, 12 16. 

* Arch. Joiirn., xxviii., 293. ''' Brut, 1094. ^ Desc.Camb.,\., 10. 



CASTLES OF CARMARTHENSHIRE 285 

would expect to find a Norman castle. Now Car- 
marthen, along with Cardiff and Pembroke, continued 
up till the final conquest of all Wales to be the most 
important seat of English power in South Wales. 
Moreover, Rhyd y Gors was a royal castle ; we 
are expressly told that it was built by William Fitz 
Baldwin, by the command of the king of England.^ 
Carmarthen also was a royal castle, and the only 
one in South Wales at that date which belonged 
directly to the king. It was temporarily abandoned 
after William Fitz Baldwin's death in T096, and 
afterwards Henry I. gave it into the custody of a 
Welshman, who also had charge of Strath Towy ; a 
passage which proves that Rhyd y Gors was in that 
district. It was restored by Richard Fitz Baldwin 
in 1 104,"' and is mentioned for the last time in 1105. 
After that the castle of Carmarthen, which has 
not been mentioned before, begins to appear, and its 
importance is clear from the continual references to it. 
Placed as it is on a navigable river, at the entrance of 
the narrower part of the vale of Towy, and on the 
Roman road from Brecon to St David's, its natural 
position must have marked it as a fit site for a royal 
castle. The castle is now converted into a gaol, and 
disfigured in the usual way ; yet the ancient motte of 
William Fitz Baldwin still remains, partly inside and 
partly outside the walls. It is crowned with a stone 
revetment which Colonel Morgan believes to have been 
erected at the time of the Civil War, to form a platform 

^ Brut^ 1094. 

- Ibid.^ p. no. There is a farmhouse called Rhyd y Gors about a mile 
lower down than Carmarthen, and on the opposite side are some embank- 
ments ; but I am assured by ]Mr Spurrell of Carmarthen that these are only 
river-embankments. Rhyd y Gors means the ford of the bog ; there is no 
' ford at this spot, but there was one at Carmarthen. 



286 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

for guns.^ The bailey is rectangular and covers about 2 
acres. The motte is placed at one corner of it, on the 
line of the walls. On the outside it is now built over 
with poor cottages ; but the site of the ditch can still be 
traced. 

"^Llandovery, or Llanymdyfri, or the castle of 
Cantrebohhan. — It is referred to in the Pipe Rolls of 
1 1 59- 1 160 by the latter name, which is only a Norman 
way of spelling Cantref Bychan, the little cantref or 
hundred, of which this castle was the head.^ It was 
then in royal custody, and Henry II. spent nearly £60 
on its works. But it had originally belonged to Richard 
Fitz Pons, one of the barons of Bernard de Neufmarche, 
and the fact that he held the key of this cantref goes to 
prove that it was from Brecknock that the Normans 
advanced into northern Carmarthenshire. The castle 
is first mentioned in the Brut in 11 15, when Griffith ap 
Rhys burnt the bailey, but could not take the keep on 
the motte.^ It does not appear to have been long in 
English hands after 11 59, but its alternations were 
many. The 25-inch O.M. shows an oval motte, 
carrying some fragments of masonry, to which is 
attached a roughly quadrangular bailey. This was one 
of the many castles by which the Normans held Strath 
Towy. 

Llanstephan.^ — This castle stands in a splendid 
situation at the mouth of the Towy, and was doubtless 
built to secure a maritime base for Carmarthen. The 
motte is of unusual size, semicircular in shape, one side 

1 See Arch. Camb.^ IQO?* PP- 237-8. 

'■^ See Round's Ancie?tt Charters, p. 9, Pipe Roll Series, vol. x. 

3 Brut, 1 1 13. 

* The first mention of the castle of Llanstephan is in the Brut, 1147, 
if, as has been assumed above, the mention in 11 36 refers to Stephen's 
castle at Lampeter, as the Annates Cambria say. 



aJ 



CASTLES OF CARMARTHENSHIRE 287 

being on the edge of the cliff; it measures 300 feet 
by 200 in the centre of the arc.^ Such a size allowed 
all the important parts of the castle to be built on the 
motte ; but there was a rectangular bailey attached, which 
is only imperfectly shown on the O.M. ; the scarp 
is in reality well marked on all sides, and the ditch 
separating it from the motte is a very deep one. [H. W.] 
The towers that now crown the motte are not earlier 
than the year 1256, when the castle was destroyed by 
Llywelyn.^ 

DiNEvoR, or Dinweiler. — Most Welsh writers asso- 
ciate Dinevor w^ith the ancient residence of the kings 
of South Wales, but there appears to be some doubt 
about this, as the place is not mentioned before the 12th 
century.^ Anyhow the castle was certainly the work of 
Earl Gilbert, as the Brut itself tells us so/ In 1162 it 
was taken by Rhys ap Griffith, the able prince who 
attempted the consolidation of South Wales, and who 
was made Justiciar of that province by Henry II. It 
continued in Welsh hands, sometimes hostile, sometimes 
allied, till it was finally taken by the English in 1277. 
The existing ruins are entirely of the 13th century, but 
the plan certainly suggests a previous motte and bailey, 
the motte having probably been lowered to form the 
present smaller ward, whose walls and towers appear to 

1 The motte of Conisburgh in Yorkshire is a very similar case known 
to the writer ; it measures 280 x 1 50 feet. Such very large mottes could 
rarely be artificial, but were formed by entrenching and scarping a natural 
hill. 

'^ Brut^ 1256. See Arch. Canib.^ 1907, p. 214, for Col. Morgan's 
remarks on this castle. 

3 The name Gueith tineuur is found in the Book of Llandaffy p. 78 
(Life of St Dubricius), but it seems doubtful whether this should be taken to 
prove the existence of some "work" at Dinevor in the 6th century. See 
Wade-Evans, Welsh Mediaeval Law ^ p. 337-8. 

•* Brut^ 1 145- " Cadell ap Griffith took the castle of Dinweiler, which 
had been erected by Earl Gilbert." 



288 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

be of Edward I.'s reign. The small bailey attached to 
this ward is separated from it by a ditch cut through 
the headland on which the castle stands. 

Kidwelly (Cydweli). — This castle, though in Car- 
marthen, was not founded by the conquerors from 
Brecknock, but by Normans from Glamorgan or Gower. 
Kidwelly was first built by William de Londres, in 
1094.^ The present castle shows no trace of this early 
origin, but is a fine specimen of the keepless pattern 
introduced into England in the 13th century.^ There is 
no motte. 

Laugharne, or Talycharne. — Also called Aber- 
corran, being at the point where the little river Corran 
flows into the estuary of the Taff. In 11 13 this castle 
belonged to a Norman named Robert Courtmain.^ The 
ancient features of the plan have been obliterated by 
transformation first into an Edwardian castle, then 
into a modern house. There is of course no motte. 
[H. W.] 

^YsTRAD Cyngen. — This must, we think, be the 
same as St Clears, which stands in the Cynen valley, 
near its junction with the Taff. Welsh writers identify 
St Clears with the castle of Mabudrud, the name of the 
commot m which it stands. First mentioned in 1154.^ 
There is no notice of its origin, but the fact that a 
Cluniac priory existed in the village, which was a cell of 
St Martin des Champs at Paris, points to a Norman 
founder, and renders an nth century date probable. It 

^ Gwentian Chroiiicle. 

2 The statement of Donovan {Excursions Through South Wales), that 
the castle stands on an artificial mount is quite incorrect. 

'^ The Rolls edition of the Brut gives the corrupt reading Aber Cavwy 
for the castle of " Robert the Crook-handed," but a variant MS. gives Aber 
Korram, and it is clear from the Gwentian Chronicle and Powell (p. 145) 
that Abercorran is meant. 

^ Brut, 1 152. 



CASTLES OF CARMARTHENSHIRE 289 

was a motte-and-balley castle, of which the earthw^orks 
remain.-^ 

^Newcastle Emlyn. — This castle does not appear to 
have received the name of '' the new castle of Emlyn " 
till after Edward I.'s conquest." The new castle, which 
is quite Edwardian, was probably built on a different 
site to the old, as *'on the other side of the bridge is a 
considerable mount, of a military character, which must 
have commanded the river. It may have been the 
original strong post occupied by the Normans."^ In 
the 1 2th century Pipe Rolls compensation is paid to 
William FitzGerald for many years "as long as Rhys ap 
Griffith holds the castle of Emlyn," which points to 
Gerald, the Seneschal of Pembroke, or his family, as its 
founders. It is on the very border of Carmarthenshire 
and Cardiganshire, defending the main road from 
Carmarthen to Cardigan. 

Llanegwad. — This castle is only once mentioned, in 
the Brut, under the year 1203, when it was taken by the 
Welsh. A small motte, called locally Pen y Knap, with 
an earthen breastwork round the top, is still standing 
about a mile from the church of Llanegwad, and is all 
that is left of this castle. The position commands a fine 
view over the Towy valley, and it is noteworthy that it 
stands very near the supposed Roman road from Brecon 
to Carmarthen. [H. W.] 

"^Llangadgg. — This castle also does not appear till 
1203 ; it was razed or burnt at least thrice in five years.^ 
A mound of earth on the banks of the Sawddwy River, 
near where the Roman road from Brecon is supposed to 

^ See paper by Mr D. C. Evans, Arch. Cavib., 1907, p. 224. 
- The first mention known to the writer is in 1285. 
^ Arch. Ca7nb., 3rd ser., v., 346. 

* Annales Cambricc, 1205 ; Brut, 1207, 1208. The Aniiales call it the 
castle of Luchewein. 



290 MOITE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

have reached the Towy valley, is all that remains of It.^ 
Lewis says that it stands in a large oval entrenchment, 
and that the motte is of natural rock, scarped conically, 
and deeply moated. 



Castles in Brecknockshire. 

Brecon, or Aberhonddu, the seat of Bernard de 
Neufmarche himself. — A charter of Bernard's mentions 
the castle.^ It seems to have been a particularly strong 
place, as we do not hear of its having been burnt more 
than once. The newer castle of Brecon is evidently of 
the time of Edward L, but across the road the old 
motte of Bernard is still standing, and carries the ruins 
of a shell wall, with a gatehouse tower.^ A portion of 
the bank and ditch of the bailey remains ; the whole is 
now in a private garden. The situation is a strong one, 
between the Usk and the Honddu. Brecon of course 
was a burgus, and part of the bank which fortified it 
remains. 

BuiLTH, on the upper Wye, alias Buallt (Fig. 42). — 
A remarkably fine motte and bailey, presenting some 
peculiarities of plan. It is not mentioned till 1210,^ but 
it has been conjectured with great probability that it 
was one of the castles built by Bernard de Neufmarche 

^ Beauties of England and Wa/es, " Caermarthen,' pp. 192, 309. 

2 Mon. Ang., iii., 244. 

2 This motte is mentioned in a charter of Roger, Earl of Hereford, 
Bernard's grandson, in which he confirms to the monks of St John "molen- 
dinum meum situm super Hodeni sub pede mote castelli.'"' Arch. Camb.^ 
1883, p. 144- 

^ The dates in the Brut are now one year too early. Under 1209 it 

says, " Gelart seneschal of Gloucester fortified (cadarnhaaod) the castle of 

Builth." We can never be certain whether the word which is translated 

fortified, whether from the Welsh or from the Latin firmare^ means built ; 

originally or rebuilt, \ 



1 
f 




BUILTH. 





Gemaron. 



Payn's Castle. 



Fig. 42. — Motfe-Castles ok South Wales. 



[Tofpccp 290. 



CASTLES OF BRECKNOCKSHIRE 291 

when he conquered Brecknock.^ It was refortlfied by- 
John Mortimer In 1242," probably In stone, as in the 
account of Its destruction by Llywelyn in 1260 it is said 
. that " not one stone was left on another." ^ Nevertheless 
when Edward I. rebuilt it the towers on the outer wall 
appear to have been of wood/ Mr Clark states that 
there are traces of masonry foundations and small 
portions of a wing wall. The bailey of this castle 
consists of a rather narrow platform, divided into two 
unequal portions by a cross ditch which connects the 
ditch of the motte with that of the bailey. The ditch 
round the motte is of unusual breadth, being 120 feet 
broad in the widest part. The whole work is encircled 
by an outer ditch of varying breadth, being 100 feet 
wide on the weakest side of the work, and by a counter- 
scarp bank which appears to be still perfect. The 
entrance is defended by four small mounds which 
probably cover the remains of towers.^ The area of 
the two baileys together Is only i acre. [D. H. M.] 

"^Hay, or Tregelli. — The earliest mention of this 
castle is in a charter of Henry I.^ The present castle 
of Hay Is of late date, but Leland tells us that "not 
far from the Paroche Chlrch is a great round Hllle of 
Yerth cast up by Men's Hondes.""^ It is shown on the 
25-inch O.M., and so Is the line of the borough walls. 

1 Beauties of England and Wales, " Brecknockshire," p. 153. 

^ BriU, in anno. The Mortimers were the heirs of the De Braoses and 
the Neufmarches. 

^ Annales Cainbrice, 1260. This may, however, be merely a figure of 
speech, 

"* Order to cause Roger Mortimer, so soon as the castle of Built shall 
be closed with a wall, whereby it will be necessary to remove the bretasches, 
to have the best bretasche of the king's gift. Cal. of Close Rolls, 
Ed. I., i., 527. 

^ See Clark, M. M. A., i., 307. 

" Round, Ancient Charters, No. 6. Itin., v., 74. 



292 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WAEES 

"^Talgarth. — Mentioned In a charter of Roger, Earl 
of Hereford, not later than 1 1 56.^ A 1 3th-century tower 
on a small motte is still standing, and can be seen from 
the railway between Brecon and Hereford. 



Castles of Radnorshire. 

^Radnor, or Maes Hyvaldd. — Though this castle is 
not mentioned in the Bmtt till 1196, when it was burnt 
by Rhys ap Griffith, it must have been built by the 
Normans at a very early period. The English had 
penetrated into the Radnor district even before the 
Norman Conquest,^ and the Normans were not slow to 
follow them. A charter of Philip de Braose is granted 
at '' Raddenoam " not later than 1096.^ There are 
mottes both at Old and New Radnor, towns three miles 
distant from each other, so that it Is impossible to say 
which was the Maes Hyvaldd of the Brttt. Both may 
have been originally De Braose castles, but New 
Radnor evidently became the more important place, and 
has massive remains in masonry. The town was a 
htrgus. 

^Gemaron, or Cwm Aron (Fig. 42). — Near Llandewi- 
Ystrad-denny. The Brut mentions its repair by Hugh 
Mortimer in 1145/ The 6-inch O.M. shows a square 
central bailey of i acre, containing some remains of 
masonry, lying between an oblong motte in the S. and 
an outer enclosure on the N., the whole being further 
defended by a high counterscarp bank on the W. It : 

1 Arch. Camb.^ N. S., v., 23-28. 

2 "Wales and the Coming of the Normans," by Professor Lloyd, in 
Cymvirodorion Transactions^ 1899. 

^ Marchegay, Chartes du Prieiirie de Monfnoufh, cited by Professor 
Lloyd, as above. 

4 Brut, 1 143. I 



CASTLES OF RADNORSHIRE 293 

commands a ford over the river Aran. There is no 
village attached to it. 

^Maud's Castle, otherwise Colwyn or Clun.^ — A 
ditched motte with square bailey on the left bank of 
the river Edwy, near the village of Forest Colwyn. 
The statement that this castle w^as repaired in 1145 
shows that it must have been older than the time of 
Maude de Braose, from whom it is generally supposed 
to have taken its name. It was rebuilt by Henry III. 
in 1231.^ 

^Payn's Castle, otherwise '' the castle of Elvael." 
— First mentioned in 11 96, when it was taken by Rhys 
ap Griffith. This is also a motte-castle (and an excep- 
tionally fine one), placed on a road leading from Kington 
in Hereford to Builth. Rebuilt in stone by Henry HI. 
in 1231.' (Fig. 42.) 

^Kni(;hton, in Welsh Trefclawdd. — First mentioned 
in the Pipe Roll oi 1181. The motte still remains, near 
the church. There is another motte just outside the 
village, called Bryn y Castell. It may be a siege castle. 

"^Norton. — First mentioned in the Pipe Roll oi 1 191. 
A motte remains close to the church, and two sides of a 
bailey which ran down to the Norton brook. 

^Bleddfa, the Bledewach of the Pipe Roll oi 1195- 
1 196, when £^ was given to Hugh de Saye ad jirmandum 
castellum, an expression which may mean either building 
or repairing. An oval motte, and traces of a bailey, are 
marked in the 6-inch O.M. 

Tynboeth, alias Dyneneboth, Tinbech/ and Llan- 

1 Not to be confounded with the castle of Clun in Shropshire. 

2 Annales Ca?nbricE and Annales de Margam. See plan in Arch. Canib.^ 
4th sen, vi., 251. 

^ Annales CambricE. 

* Really Ty-yn-yr Bwlch, the house in the pass. Not to be _ confounded 
with Tenby in Pembrokeshire. 



294 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

anno. — First mentioned in Pipe Roll of 1 196-1 197. 
There is a fine large motte in a commanding situation, and 
a crescent-shaped bailey, now marked only by a scarp. 
There are some remains of masonry, and the castle was 
evidently an important one. It is first mentioned in the 
Pipe Roll of 1 196, and it occurs in lists of the Mortimer 
castles in the 14th century.^ It is not far from two 
fords of the river Ithon. [H. W.] 

These four castles are not mentioned in the Brut y 
Tywysogion, though the Annales Cambrice mentions the 
capture of Bleddfa, Knighton, and Norton by the Welsh 
in 1262. They all command important roads. Knighton 
and Norton were boroughs. 



Castles of Glamorganshire. 

Cardiff (Fig. 43). — The first castle of Cardiff was 
certainly a wooden one ; its lofty mound still remains. 
It is placed inside a Roman station, and the south and 
west walls of the castle bailey rest on Roman foundations, 
** but do not entirely coincide with those foundations." ^ 
The Roman fort was probably ruinous when Robert 
Fitz Hamon placed his first castle there, as on the N. 
and E. sides the bailey is defended by an earthbank, in 
which the remains of a Roman wall have been found 
buried. The area of the Roman castrum was about 8|- 



acres, and evidently the Normans found this too large, 
as they divided it by a cross wall, which reduces the 
inner fort to about 2 acres. The motte has its own 
ditch. The position of Cardiff was a very Important 
base, not only as a port near Bristol, but as a point on 



^ Cal. of Close Rolls, Ed. II., iii., 415, 643. 

2 See " Cardiff Castle : its Roman Origin," by John Ward, ArchcBologia, 
Ivii., 335- 



i 






^a/ls. 




Feet. 



Cardiff 




LOCGHOR. 



Fig. 43. — Motte-Castles of South Wales. 



[To face p. 294. 



CASTLES OF GLAMORGANSHIRE 295 

the probably Roman road which connected Gloucester 
with Carmarthen and beyond/ 

The lands of Robert Fitz Hamon, in the next 
generation, passed into the hands of Robert, the great 
Earl of Gloucester, Henry L's illegitimate son. He was 
a great castle-builder, and It is probable that the first 
masonry of Cardiff Castle was his work.^ 

Newcastle Bridgend. — This castle and the three 
which follow are all situated on or near the "Roman" 
road from Cardiff to St David's, of which we have already 
spoken. There were two castles at Bridgend, the Old 
Castle and the New Castle, from which the town takes 
its name. The site of the former Is now too much cut 
up for any definite conclusions about it ; the site of the 
latter has been converted into market gardens, but a 
motte Is still standing in one corner with the ruins of a 
tower upon it. [H. W.] This castle is not noticed either 
by the Brut or the Aberpergwm version ; the earliest 
mention known to us is in the Pipe Roll oi 1184, at a 
time when the castles of the Earl of Gloucester were in 
royal custody, and this appears to have been one of 
them. 

Kenfig. — This castle is close to the " Roman" road. 
The Aberpergwm Brict says that it was one of the castles 
of Robert Fitz Hamon, and states that in 1092 It was 
rebuilt "stronger than ever before, for castles prior to 
that were built of wood." This is a good specimen of 
the mixture of truth and error to be found in this i6th 
century MS. There is little doubt that all the first 

1 See " Cardiff Castle : its Roman Origin," by John Ward, Archceologia^ 
Ivii., 335. 

2 Mr Clark thought the shell wall on the motte was Norman, and the 
tower Perp. But the wall of the shell has some undoubtedly Perp. windows. 
The Giventian Chronicle says that Robert of Gloucester surrounded the town 
of Cardiff with a wall, anno mi. 



296 MOTTE-CASTLES IiN SOUTH WALES 

castles of the Normans In Wales were built of wood ; 
but it is extremely unlikely that any wooden keep was 
replaced by a stone one as early as 1092. The town 
and castle of Kenfig are now almost entirely burled In 
sand-drifts, but the top of the motte, with some frag- 
ments of masonry upon it, is still visible. [H. W.]^ The 
note in the Pipe Rolls of the repair oi \ki^ palicium of 
this castle shows that the bailey wall at any rate was 
still of wood in 1183. Even as late as 1232 the keep 
was only defended by a ditch and hedge ; yet it with- 
stood an assault from Llywelyn ap Jorwerth.^ The 
bailey is said to contain 1 1 acres, a most unusual 
size. Kenfio- was a borough In Norman times, and it Is 
possible that this large bailey was the original borough, 
afterwards enlarged in mediaeval times. There is 
evidence that there were burgage tenements within the 
bailey.^ 

Aberavon. — The Aberpergwm MS. says that FItz 
Hamon gave Aberavon to the son of the Welsh traitor 
who had called him Into Glamorgan. At a later period, 
however, we find It in Norman hands. The site of the 
castle has been entirely cleared away, but It had a motte, 
which is still remembered by the older inhabitants. 
[H. W.]^ It Is not mentioned in the Brut before 1152, 
when it was attacked and burnt by Rhys ap Griffith. 

^Neath. — The site of the first castle of Neath was 
given by Richard de Granville, its owner, to the abbey 
of Neath, which he had founded.^ About the year mi, 

^ See Gray's Buried City of Kenfig^ where there are interesting photo- 
graphs. The remains appear to be those of a shell. 

^ A finales de Margam, 1232. 

^ Gray's Buried City of Kenfig, pp. 59, 150. 

* This information is confirmed by Mr Tennant, town clerk of Aberavon. 

•'' See Francis' Neath a7id its Abbey, where the charter of De Granville is 
given. It is only preserved in an Inspeximus of 1468. 



\ 



I 

li 



CASTLES OF GOWER 297 

according to the Aberpergwm B^^tU, Richard returned, 
from the Holy Land, bringing with him a Syrian 
architect, well skilled in the building of monasteries, 
churches, and castles, and by him we may presume, a 
new castle was built on the other side of the river, 
though the present castle on that site Is clearly of much 
later date. The monks of course destroyed all vestiges 
of the first (probably wooden) castle. 

^Remmi, or Remni. — Of this castle there is only one 
solitary mention, in the Pipe Roll oi 1184. The name 
seems to indicate the river Rhymney, which is the 
boundary between Glamorgan and Monmouth. We are 
unable to find any castle site so near the Rhymney as 
Ruperra, where Clark mentions a fine motte.^ But we 
do not venture on this identification without further 
information.^ 

Castles of Gower. 

^Swansea, or Abertawy. — This was the castle of 
Henry Beaumont, the conqueror of Gower. The 
present castle Is comparatively modern. It is Inside the 
town ; but there used to be a moated mound outside the 
town, which was only removed in 1804. It seems 
probable to us that this was the original castle of 
Beaumont.^ That this first castle had a motte is 

^ M. M. A., i., 112. 

2 Ruperra is not quite one mile from the river Rhymney. There is 
another site which may possibly be that of Castle Remni : Castleton, which 
is nearly 2 miles from the river, but is on the main road from Cardiff to 
Newport. " It was formerly a place of strength and was probably built or 
occupied by the Normans for the purpose of retaining their conquest of 
VVentlwg. The only remains are a barrow in the garden of Mr Philipps, 
which is supposed to have been the site of the citadel, and a stone barn, 
once a chapel." Coxe's Mon7nouthshire^ i., 63. 

^ It is right to say that Colonel Morgan in his admirable Survey of East 
Gower (a model of what an antiquarian survey ought to be) does not con- 



298 MO'lTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

suggested by the narrative in the Brut which tells how 
Griffith ap Rhys burnt the outworks in 1115, but was 
unable to get at the tower. -^ 

^LouGHOR, or Aberllychor (Fig. 43). — Also built by 
Henry Beaumont. The mound of the castle still 
remains, with a small square keep on top. There was 
formerly a shell wall also. The place of a bailey was 
supplied by a terrace 15 feet wlde.^ The four castles 
last mentioned are all at the mouths of rivers, as well as 
on an ancient (if not Roman) coast road. 

^Llandeilo Talybont, or Castell Hu. — Only 
mentioned once in the Brut, under 1215, as the castle 
of Hugh de Miles. A moated mound with a square 
bailey and no masonry still remains.^ It commands 
the river Loughor, which is still navigable up to that 
point at high tides.* On the opposite side of the river 
is another motte and bailey, called Ystum Enlle. 
Possibly there was a ford or ferry at this point, which 
these castles were placed to defend.^ 

Oystermouth, a corruption of Ystum Llwynarth. — 
First mentioned in the older Bi^ut in 12 15, when it was 
burnt by Rhys Grug. The later version says it was 
built by Beaumont in 1099. The castle stands on a 
natural height, fortified artificially by a motte, which is 
of great size. There Is a small bailey below to the 
N.E., and a curious small oval embankment thrown out 
In the rear of the castle towards the N.W. The 

nect this mound with the old castle which is mentioned, as well as the new 
castle, in Cromwell's Survey of Gower. But even the old castle seems to 
have been Edwardian (see the plan, p. 85), so it is quite possible there were 
three successive castles in Swansea. 

^ B?-ut^ III 3. ^ Morgan's Survey of East Gower^ p. 24. 

^ Colonel Morgan's Survey of East Gower. 

* Lewis's Topographical Dictionary. 

'^ The passage of the river Lune in Lancashire is similarly defended by 
the mottes of Melling and Arkholme. 



FEUDALISATION OF WALES 299 

architecture of this magnificent castle is all of the 
Edwardian style, and as the castle was burnt down by 
Rhys ap Meredith in 1287, it is probable that only 
wooden structures stood on this site until after that date. 
The castle is in a fine situation overlooking the Bay of 
Swansea. [H. W.] 



We have now completed our list of the Norman 
castles built in Wales which are known to history. It 
must not be supposed, however, that we imagine this to 
be a complete list of all the Norman castles which were 
ever erected in Wales. The fact that several in our 
catalogue are only once mentioned in the records makes 
it probable that there were many others which have 
never been mentioned at all. In this way we may 
account for the many mottes which remain in Wales 
about which history is entirely silent. As there was 
scarcely a corner in Wales into which the Normans did 
not penetrate at some time or other, it is not surprising 
if we find them in districts which are generally reckoned 
to be entirely Welsh. But there is another way of 
accounting for them ; some of them may have been 
built by the Welsh themselves, in imitation of the 
Normans. As the feudal system and feudal ideas 
penetrated more and more into Wales, and the Welsh 
princes themselves became feudal homagers of the kings 
of England, it was natural that the feudal castle should 
also become a Welsh institution, especially as it was 
soon found to be a great addition to the chieftain's 
personal strength. The following castles are stated in 
the Brut to have been built by the Welsh. ^ 

1 1 13. "^Cymmer, in Merioneth. — Built by Uchtred ap 
^ The dates given are those of the Brut^ and probably two years too early. 



300 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SOUTH WALES 

Edwin, whose name, as we have already remarked, 
suggests an EngHsh descent. Near Cymmer Abbey 
the motte or tomen remains. 

"^Cynfael, In Merioneth, near Towyn. — Built by 
Cadwalader, son of Griffith ap Cynan, on whose behalf 
Henry II. undertook his first expedition into Wales, 
and who was at that time a protege of the Anglo- 
Normans. Clark gives a plan of this motte-castle in 
Arch. Camb.y 4th sen, vi., 66. 

1 148. "^Yale, in Denbigh = Llanarmon. — Said to 
have been built by Owen Gwynedd, but here, as we 
have said, an earlier Norman foundation seems prob- 
able (see p. 272). 

1 148. Llanrhystyd, in Cardigan. — Also built by 
Cadwalader, who was then establishing himself in 
Cardigan. Probably the motte and bailey called 
Penrhos, or Castell Rhos, to the east of Llanrhystyd 
village. [H. W.] 

1 155. Aberdovey. — Built by Rhys ap Griffith to 
defend Cardigan against Owen, Prince of Gwynedd. It 
must therefore have been on the Cardigan shore of the 
Dovey, and not at the present town of Aberdovey, 
which is on the Merioneth shore. And in fact, on the 
Cardigan shore of the estuary, about two miles west of 
Glandovey Castle, there is a tumulus called Domenlas 
(the green tump), which was very likely the site of this 
castle of Rhys.-^ 

1 1 55. Caereinion. — Built by Madoc of Powys, who 
was then a homager of Henry II. Remains of a motte 
near the church ; the churchyard itself appears to be the 
former bailey. About a mile off Is a British camp called 
Pen y Voel, which may have been the seat of the son of 
Cunedda, who is said to have settled here. [H. W.] 

^ Meyrick's History of Cardigan ^ p. 146. 



MOTTES IN WALES 301 

"^Walwern, or Tafolwern, near Llanbrynmair, In 
Montgomery, may have been a Welsh castle. It Is first 
mentioned In 1163, when Howel ap Jeuav took It from 
Owen Gwynedd, who may have been Its builder. The 
motte Is marked In the O.^I. on a narrow peninsula at 
the junction of two streams. 

1 169. "^Abereinon, in Cardigan. — Built by Rhys ap 
Griffith, Henry II.'s Justiciar of South Wales. *'A 
circular moated tumulus, now called CIl y Craig." ^ (It 
is marked on the 25-Inch O.M.) 

1 177. "^Rhaidr Gwy. — Also built by Rhys ap Griffith, 
no doubt as a menace to Powys, as this castle was 
afterwards sorely contested. It Is a motte-and-bailey 
castle, the motte being known as Tower Mount.^ 

All these castles are of the motte-and-balley type, and 
prove the adoption by the Welsh of Norman customs.^ 
It will be noticed that In the first Instances they were 
built by men who were specially under Norman Influences. 
But probably the fashion was soon more widely followed, 
although these are the only recorded cases. 

The contribution made by the castles of Wales to 
the general theory of the origin of mottes In these 
islands Is very important. Leaving out the seven 
castles attributed to the Welsh, we find that out of 
seventy-one castles built by the Normans, fifty-three, or 
very nearly three-fourths, still have mottes ; while in the 
remaining eighteen, either the sites have been so altered 
as to destroy the original plan, or there Is a probability 
that a motte has formerly existed. 

^ Meyrick's History of Cardigan^ p. 146. 

2 Lewis's Topographical Dictionary. 

^ We do not include the castles which the Welsh rebuilt. Thus in 1194 
we are told that Rhys built the castle of Kidwelly, which he certainly only 
rebuilt. 



CHAPTER X 

MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

The Scottish historians of the 19th century have amply 
recognised the Anglo-Norman occupation of Scotland, 
which took place In the nth and 12th centuries, ever 
since its extent and importance were demonstrated by 
Chalmers in his Caledonia. Occupation is not too 
strong a word to use, although it was an occupation 
about which history is strangely silent, and which 
seems to have provoked little resistance except in 
the Keltic parts of the country. But it meant the 
transformation of Scotland from a tribal Keltic king- 
dom into an organised feudal state, and in the 
accomplishment of this transformation the greater 
part of the best lands in Scotland passed into the 
hands of English refugees or Norman and Flemish 
adventurers. 

The movement began in the days of Malcolm 
Canmore, when his English queen, the sainted Margaret, 
undoubtedly favoured the reception of English refugees 
of noble birth, some of whom were her own relations.^ 
Very soon, the English refugees were followed by 
Norman refugees, who had either fallen under the 
displeasure of the king of England, like the Mont- 

1 Malcolm Canmore himself had passed nearly fourteen years in 
England. Fordun, iv., 45. 

302 



/ 






FEUDALISATIOX OF SCOTLAND 303 

gomeries, or were the cadets of some Norman family, 
wishful to carve out fresh fortunes for themselves, like 
the Fitz Alans, the ancestors of the Stuarts. The 
immio^ration continued during^ the reis^n of the sons of 
Margaret, but seems to have reached its culminating 
point under David I. (1124-1153). 

David, as Burton remarks, had lived for sixteen 
years as an affluent Anglo-Norman noble, before his 
accession to the Scottish crown, being Earl of Hunting- 
don in right of his wife, the daughter of Simon de 
Senlis, and granddaughter, through her mother, of Earl 
Waltheof David's tastes and sympathies were Norman, 
but it was not taste alone which impelled him to build 
up in Scotland a monarchy of the Anglo-Norman feudal 
type. He had a distinct policy to accomplish; he 1 
wished to do for Scotland what Edward I. sought to 
do for the whole island, to unite its various nationalities 
under one government, and he saw that men of the 
Anglo-Norman type would be the best instruments of 
this policy.^ It mattered little to him from what nation 
he chose his followers, if they were men who accepted 
his ideas. Norman, English, Flemish, or Norse 
adventurers were all received at his court, and endowed 
with lands in Scotland, if they were men suitable for 
working the system which he knew to be the only one 
available for the accomplishment of his policy. And 
that system was the feudal system. He saw that 
feudalism meant a higher state of civilisation than 
the tribalism of Keltic Scotland, and that only 
by the complete organisation of feudalism could 
he carry out the unification of Scotland, and the 

^ Burton remarks : "To the Lowland Scot, as well as to the Saxon, the 
Norman was what a clever man, highly educated and trained in the great 
world of politics, is to the same man who has spent his days in a village." 
History of Scotland^ i., 353. 



304 . MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

subjugation of the wild Keltic tribes of the north and 
west.^ 

The policy was successful, though it was not com- 
pletely carried out until Alexander III. purchased the 
kingdom of the Isles from the King of Norway in 1266. 
The sons of David, Malcolm IV., and William the Lion 
were strong men who doughtily continued the subjuga- 
tion of the Keltic parts of Scotland, and distributed the 
lands of the conquered among their Norman or 
Normanised followers. The struggle was a severe 
one ; again and again did the North rebel against the 
yoke of the House of Malcolm. In Moray the Keltic 
inhabitants were actually driven out by Malcolm 
IV., and the country colonised by Normans or 
Flemings." The same Malcolm led no less than three 
expeditions against Galloway, where in spite of extensive 
Norse settlements on the coast, the mass of the inhabi- 
tants appear to have been Keltic.^ 

We know very little about the details of this remark- 
able revolution, because Scotland had no voice in the 

^ Dr Round has brought to light the significant fact that King David 
took his chancellor straight from the English chancery, where he had been 
a clerk. This first chancellor of Scotland was the founder of the great 
Comyn family. The A?tcestor, lo, io8. 

2 Fordun, A?inalza^ vol. iv. 

^ It is tempting to connect the extraordinary preponderance of mottes, 
as shown by Dr Christison's map, in the shires which made up ancient 
Galloway, Wigton, Kirkcudbright, and Dumfries, with the savage resistance 
offered by Galloway, which may have made it necessary for all the Norman 
under-tenants to fortify themselves, each in his own motte-castle. It is 
wiser, however, to delay such speculations until we have the more exact 
information as to the number of mottes in Scotland, which it is hoped 
will be furnished when the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments has 
finished its work. But this work will not be complete unless special atten- 
tion is paid to the earthworks which now form part of stone castles, and 
which are too often overlooked, even by antiquaries. The New Statistical 
Account certainly raises the suspicion that there are many more mottes north 
of the Forth than are recognised in the map alluded to. In one district we 
are told that "almost every farm had its knapy " Forfarshire," p. 326. 



1 Hi 



CASTLE-BUILDING IN SCOTLAND 305 

1 2th century, none of her chroniclers being earlier than - 
the end of the 14th century. As regards the subject 
which concerns this book, the building of castles, there 
are only one or two passages which lift the veil. A 
contemporary English chronicler, Ailred of Rievaulx, in 
his panegyric of David L, says that David decorated 
Scotland with castles and cities.^ In like manner 
Benedict of Peterborough tells us that when William 
the Lion was captured by Henry IL's forces in 11 74, 
the men of Galloway took the opportunity to destroy all 
the castles which the king had built in their country, 
expelling his seneschals and guards, and killing all the 
English and French whom they could catch. ^ Fordun 
casually mentions the building of two castles in Ross by 
William the Lion ; and once he gives us an anecdote 
which is a chance revelation of what must have been 
going on everywhere. A certain English knight, 
Robert, son of Godwin, whose Norman name shows 
that he was one of the Normanised English, tarried 
with the king's leave on an estate which King Edgar 
had given him in Lothian, and while he was seeking to 
build a castle there, he was attacked by the men of 
Bishop Ranulf of Durham, who objected to a castle 
being built so near the English frontier.^ 

But even if historians had been entirely silent about 
the building of castles in Scotland, we should have been 
certain that it must have happened, as an inevitable 
part of the Norman settlement. Robertson remarks 
that the Scots in the time of David L were still a 
pastoral and in some respects a migratory people, their 

1 Cited by Fordun, v., 43. 

2 Benedict of Peterborough, i., 68, R. S. 
^ Fordun, v., 26. Bower in one of his interpolations to Fordun's Annals, 

tells how a Highlander named Gillescop burnt certain wooden castles 
{£uasdain 7nunitiones ligneas) in Moray. Skene's P'ordun, ii., 435. 

U 



306 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

magnates not residing like great feudal nobles in their 
own castles, but moving about from place to place, and 
quartering themselves upon the dependent population. 
There is in fact no reason for supposing that the Keltic 
chiefs of Scotland built castles, any more than those of 
Wales or Ireland/ But the feudal system must very 
soon have covered Scotland with castles. 

The absence of any stone castles of Norman type 
has puzzled Scottish historians, whose ideas of castles 
were associated with buildings in stone.^ In 1898 Dr 
Christison published his valuable researches into the 
Early Foidificatioiis of Scotland, in which for the first 
time an estimate was attempted of the distribution of 
Scottish motes^ and their Norman origin almost, if not 
quite, suspected. His book was quickly followed by 
Mr George Neilson's noteworthy paper on the *' Motes 
in Norman Scotland,"^ in which he showed that the 
wooden castle is the key which unlocks the historians* 
puzzle, and that the motes of Scotland are nothing but 
the evidence of the Norman feudal settlement. 



1 That Fordun should speak of the castra and municipia of Macduff is 
not surprising, seeing that he wrote in the 14th century, when a noble 
without a castle was a thing unthinkable. 

2 Burton actually thought that the Normans built no castles in Scotland 
in the 12th century, Messrs MacGibbon and Ross remark that there is not 
one example of civil or military architecture of the 12th century, while there; 
are so many fine specimens of ecclesiastical. Castellated Architecture of 
Scotland, i., 63. It is just to add that when speaking of the castles of 
William the Lion, they say : " It is highly probable that these and other 
castles of the 13th century were of the primeval kind, consisting of 
palisaded earthen mounds and ditches." Ibid., iii. 6. 

^ Mote is the word used in Scotland, as in the north of England, jif 
Pembrokeshire, and Ireland, for the Norman matte. As the word is still a, j 
living word in Scotland, its original sense has been partly lost, and it seems 
to be now applied to some defensive works which are not mottes at all. 
But the true motes of Scotland entirely resemble the mottes of France and 
England. 

^ Scottish Review, xxxii., 232. 



]\IOTTES AND COURT-HILLS 807 

Two Important points urged in Mr Neilson's paper 
are the feudal and legral connection of these motes. He 
has given a Hst of mottes which are known to have been 
the site of the "chief messuages" of baronies in the 
13th and 14th centuries, and has collected the names of 
a great number w^hlch were seats of justice, or places 
where ''salsine" of a barony was taken, not because 
they were moot-hills, but because the administration of 
justice remained fixed in the ancient site of the baron's 
castle. "The doctrine of the chief messuage, which 
became of large Importance In peerage law, made it at 
times of moment to have on distinct record the nomina- 
tion of what the chief messuage was, often for the 
imperative function of taking sasine. In many instances 
the capttt baronicE, or the court or place for the cere- 

' menial entry to possession, is the 'molt,' the ' mothill, 
the 'auld castell,' the 'auld wark,' the ' castellsteid,' 
the 'auld castellsteld,' the 'courthill,' or In Latin vions 
placiti, mons viridis, or 7nons castri!'^ In certain places 
where two mottes are to be found, he was able to prove 
cthat two baronies had once had their seats. Another 
point which Mr Neilson worked out Is the relation of 
bordlands to mottes. Bordland or borland, though an 
English word, is not pre-Conquest; it refers to "that 
species of demesne which the lord reserves for the supply 
of his own table." It is constantly found in the near 

i^proximity of mottes." 

The following Is a list of thirty-eight Anglo-Norman 
•or Normanised adventurers settled in Scotland, on 
'whose lands mottes are to be found. The list must 
be regarded as a tentative one, for had all the names 

; Igiven by Chalmers been included, it would have been 
imore than doubled. But the difficulties of obtain- 

^ Scottish Review, xxxii., 232. - Ibid., p. 236. 



308 MOTTE-CxVSTLES LN SCOTLAND 

ing topographical Information were so great that 
it has been judged expedient to give only the 
names of those families who are known to have held 
lands, and in most cases to have had their principal 
residences, in places where mottes are or formerly were 
existing.-^ 

Anstruther. — William de Candela obtained the lands 
of Anstruther, in Fife, from David I. His descendants 
took the surname of Anstruther. The ''Mothlaw" of 
Anstruther is mentioned in 1590.^ "At the W. end of 
the town there is a large mound, called the Chester Hill, 
in the middle of which Is a fine well." (N. S. A., 1845.) 
The well is an absolute proof that this was the site of a 
castle. 

AvENEL. — Walter de Avenel held Abercorn Castle 
and estate, In Linlithgow, in the middle of the 12th 
century. The castle stood on a green mound (N. S. A.) 
which Is clearly marked in the O.M. 

Balliol. — The De Ballleul family had their seat at 
Barnard Castle, in Durham, after the Conquest. They 
obtained lands in Galloway from David L, and had strong- 
holds at Bulttle, and Kenmure, in Kirkcudbright. At 
Buittle the site of the castle exists, a roughly triangular 
bailey with a motte at one corner ; ^ and at Kenmure the 
O.M. clearly shows a motte, as does the picture in Grose's 



1 This list is mainly compiled from Chalmers' Caledonia^ vol. i., book iv., 
ch. i. The letter C. refers to Dr Christison's Early Fortifications in Scotland; 
N., to Mr Neilson's paper in the Scottish Review^ 1898 ; O.M., to the 25-inch 
Ordnance Map ; G., to the Gazetteer of Scotland. It is a matter of great 
regret to the writer that she has been unable to do any personal visitation of 1 j|-j 
the Scottish castles, except in the cases of Roxburgh and Jedburgh. It is 
therefore impossible to be absolutely certain that all the hillocks mentioned 
in this list are true mottes, or whether all of them still exist. | UlC 

2 Registrum Magni Sigilli^ quoted by Christison, p. 19. ' „, 
^ A plan is given by Mr Coles in "the Motes, Forts, and Boons of 

Kirkcudbright." Soc. Ant. Scot.^ 1891-1892. 



D12 



if 



BARCLAY— BRUCE 309 

lAntiq^nties of Scotland. The terraces probably date 
^from the time when the modern house on top was 
built. 

Barclay. — The De Berkeleys sprang from the De 

iBerkeleys of England, and settled in Scotland in the 

1 2th century. Walter de Berkeley was Chamberlain of 

J Scotland in 1 165 ; William the Lion gave him the manor 

^of Inverkeilor, in Forfarshire ; there he built a castle, on 

Lunan Bay. ** An artificial mound on the west side of 

!the bay, called the Corbie's Knowe, bears evident marks 

of having been a castle long previous to the erection of 

Redcastle." (N. S. A.) The family also had lands in 

what is now Aberdeenshire, and at Towie, in the parish 

: of Auchterless, they had a castle. " Close to the church 

;.of Auchterless there is a small artificial eminence of 

an oval shape, surrounded by a ditch, which is now in 

•many places filled up. It still retains the name of the 

Moat Head, and was formerly the seat of the baronial 

court." (N. S. A. ; N. ; C.) 

Bruce. — The De Brus held lands in North Yorkshire 
at the time of the Domesday Survey. David L gave 
them the barony of Annan, in Dumfriesshire. The 
oriorinal charter of this o^rant still exists in the British 
ri Museum, witnessed by a galaxy of Norman names. -^ 
Their chief castles were at Annan and Lochmaben. 
At Annan, near the site of a later castle, there is still 
a motte about 50 feet high, with a vast ditch and some 
traces of a bailey (N.), called the Moat (N. S. A.). 
The ''terras de Moit et Bailyis, intra le Northgate," 
are mentioned in 1582. South of the town of Loch- 
maben, on the N.W. side of the loch, is a fine 
motte called Castle Hill, with some remains of masonry, 
which is still pointed out as the original castle of the 

^ M'Ferlie, Lands and T/iei?' Otvners in Galloway^ ii., 47. 



310 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

Bruces.^ (G.) The fine motte and bailey at Moffat 
must also have been one of their castles, as Moffat was 
one of their demesne lands. (Fig. 44.) 

Cathcart. — Name territorial. Rainald de Cathcart 
witnesses a charter (in the Paisley Register) in 1179. 
Near the old castle of Cathcart, Lanark, is '*an eminence 
called Court Knowe." (N. S. A.) As Mr Neilson has 
shown, these court knowes and court hills are generally 
disused mottes. The name Rainald is clearly Norman. 

Cheyne. — This family is first known in 1258, but 
had then been long settled in Scotland, and were 
hereditary sheriffs of Banffshire. Chalmers only mentions 
their manor of Inverugie, in Aberdeenshire. Behind 
the ruins of Inverugie Castle rises a round flat-topped 
hill, which was the Castle Hill or Mote Hill of former 
days. (N. S. A.) 

CoLviLLE. — Appears in Scotland in the reign of 
Malcolm IV., holding the manors of Heton and Oxnam, 
in Roxburgh. About ^ mile from Oxnam (which was a 
barony) is a moated mound called Galla Knowe. (O.M., 
C, and N.) Hailes identified the castle in Teviotdale, 
captured and burnt by Balliol in 1333, with that of 
Oxnam. ^ Le Mote de Oxnam is mentioned in 1424 (N.). 

CuMYN, or CoMYN. — The first of this family came to 
Scotland as the chancellor of David I.^ First seated at 
Linton Roderick, in Roxburghshire, where there is a 
rising ground, surrounded formerly by a foss, the site 
of the original castle ; (G.) a description which seems to 

^ This description, taken from the Gazetteer^ seems clear, but Mr Neilson 
tells me the site is more probably Woody Castle, which is styled a manor in 
the 15th century. The N. S. A. says : "There is the site of an ancient castle 
close to the town, on a mound of considerable height, called the Castle Hill, 
which is surrounded by a deep moat." " Dumfries," p. 383. 

- Annals, ii., 196, cited in Douglas's Histoiy of the Bo7'de7' Counties^ 173. 

2 Round, in The Ancestor^ 10, 108. 





lOO 200 



Feet. 

Moffat. 




Feet 




DCFFUS. 



LiDDESDALE. 



Fig. 44.— Scottish Motte-Castles. 



[To /acp p.; 310 



COMYN— CUNNINGHAM 311 

suggest a motte. William the Lion gave the Cumyns 
Kirkintilloch in Dumbarton, and we afterwards find them 
at Dalswinton in Dumfriesshire, and Troqueer in Kirk- 
cudbright. At Kirkintilloch the O.M. shows a square 
mount concentrically placed in a square enceinte. The 
enclosure was apparently one of the forts on the wall of 
Agricola, but the writer on Kirkintilloch in the N. S. A. 
suspected that it had been transformed into a castle by 
the Cumyns. At Dalswinton the O.M. shows a motte, 
and calls it the " site of Cumyn's Castle." At Troqueer, 
"directly opposite the spot on the other side the river 
where Cumyn's Castle formerly stood is a mote of circular 
form and considerable height." (N. S. A.) The Cumyn 
who held Kirkintilloch in 1201, was made Earl of 
Buchan, and held the vast district of Badenoch, or the 
great valley of the Spey. The N. S. A. gives many 
descriptions of remains in this region which are suggestive 

1 of motte-castles ; we can only name the most striking: 
Ruthven, ''a castle reared by the Comyns on a green 

. conical mound on the S. bank of the Spey, thought to 
be partly artificial," now occupied by ruined barracks ; 
Dunmullie, in the parish of Duthill, where ''there can be 
traced vestiges of a motte surrounded by a ditch, on 
which, according to tradition, stood the castle of the 
early lords " ; Crimond, where Cumyn had a castle, and 
where there is a small round hill called Castle Hill ; and 
Ellon, where the Earl of Buchan had his head court, 
on a small hill which has now disappeared, but which 
was anciently known as the moot-hill of Ellon. Saisin 
of the earldom was given on this hill in 1476. (N. S. A.) 
Cunningham. — Warnebald, who came from the 
north of England, was a follower of the Norman, Hugh 
de Morville, who gave him the lands of Cunningham, in 
Ayrshire, from which the family name was taken. In 



312 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

the parish of Kilmaurs, which is in the district of 
Cunningham, there is a **mote," which may have been 
the castle of Warnebald ; at any rate the original 
manor place of Cunningham was in this parish. It is 
of course possible that this motte may have been origin- 
ally a De Morville castle. 

Douglas. — Name territorial ; progenitor was a 
Fleming, who received lands on the Douglas water, in 
Lanark, in the middle of the 12th century. In the park 
of Douglas, to the east of the modern castle, is a mound 
called Boncastle, but we are unable to state certainly 
that it is a motte. Lag Castle, in the parish of 
Dunscore, "has a moat or court hill a little to the east." 
(N. S. A. : shown In Grose's picture.) It must have been 
originally Douglas land, as in 1408 it was held by an 
armour-bearer of Douglas. 

DuRAND. — Clearly a Norman name, corrupted into 
Durham. The family were seated at Kirkpatrick 
Durham In the 13th century. There Is or was a motte 
at Kirkpatrick.^ 

DuRWARD. — This family was descended from Alan 
de Lundin, who was dur-ward or door-keeper to the 
king about 1233. They possessed a wide domain in 
Aberdeenshire, and had a castle at Lumphanan, where 
Edward I. stayed in 1296. There Is a round motte in 
the Peel Bog at Lumphanan, surrounded by a moat, 
which was fed by a sluice from the neighbouring burn. 
There were ruins in masonry on the top some 
hundred years ago. The writer of the N. S. A. account 
of this place, with remarkable shrewdness, conjectures 
that a wooden castle on this mound was the ancient 

^ Dr Christison distinctly marks one on his map, but Mr Coles says 
there is no trace of one, though the name Marl Mount is preserved. Soc. 
Ant. Scot.^ 1892, p. 108. 



FITZ ALAN— FLEMING 313 

residence of the Durwards, superseded In the 15th 
century by a building of stone, and that It has nothing 
to do with Macbeth, whose burial-place Is said to be a 
cairn in the neighbourhood.^ 

FiTZ Alan. — This is the well-known ancestor of the 
House of Stuart, Walter, a cadet of a great Norman 
family in Shropshire, who Is said to have obtained lands 
in Scotland in Malcolm Canmore's time. Renfrew was 
one of his seats, and Inverwick, In Haddington, another. 
Renfrew Castle is entirely destroyed, but the description 
of the site, on a small hill, ditched round, called Castle 
Hill, strongly suggests a motte. The keep of Inverwick 
stands on a natural motte of rock.^ Dunoon was one of 
their castles, near to which "stood the Tom-a-mhold, or 
Hill of the court of justice " (G.), possibly an ancient 
motte.^ Dunoon Castle, however, itself stands on a 
motte, partly artificial and partly carved out of a 
headland. (N.) 

Fleming. — There were many Flemings among the 
followers of David I., and eventually the name stuck to 
their descendants as a surname. Baldwin the Fleming 
obtained lands at Biggar, In Lanarkshire. There is a 
motte at the west end of the town of Biggar, 2>^ feet 
high. Biggar was the head of a barony. (N. S. A. 
and N.) Colban the Fleming settled at Colbantown, now 
Covington, Lanarkshire, where there is a motte (N.). 
Robert the Fleming has left a well-preserved oblong 

^ See the Aberdeen volume, p. 1092. 

2 See Grose's picture, which is confirmed by Dr Ross. 

^ The name Tom-a-mhoid is derived by some writers from the Gaelic 
Tom, a tumulus (Welsh Tomen) and 7/ioid, a meeting. Is there such a 
word for a meeting in Gaelic ? If there is, it must be derived from Anglo- 
Saxon 7not or gemot. But there is no need to go to Gaelic for this word, as 
it is clear from the Registrum Magni Sigilli that 7noit was a common 
version of mote, and meant a castle hill, the mota or mons castri, as it is 
often called. 



314 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

motte at Roberton, in Lanark, which was a barony, and 
where the nioit was spoken of in 1608. (N.) 

Graham. — Came from England under David L, and 
received lands in Lothian. A Graham was lord of 
Tarbolton, in Ayrshire, in 1335, so it is possible that the 
motte at that place, on which stood formerly the chief 
messuage of the barony of Tarbolton, was one of their 
castles (N. S. A.), but it may have been older. 

Hamilton. — It is not certain that the Hamiltons 
came to Scotland before 1272. King Robert L gave 
them the barony of Cadzow, Lanark, which had origin- 
ally been a royal seat. In Hamilton Park there is a 
mote hill, which was the site of the chief messuage of 
this barony (N.). It w^as formerly surrounded by the 
town of Hamilton. (N. S. A.) It is of course possible 
that this motte may be much older than the Hamiltons, 
as the site of an originally royal castle. 

Hay. — First appears in the 12th century, as butler 
to Malcolm IV. The family first settled in Lothian, 
where they had lands at Lochorworth. The Borthwick 
family, who got this estate by marriage, obtained a 
license from James I. about 1430 to build a castle "on 
the mote of Locherwart," and to this castle they gave 
their own name. (N. S. A.) No doubt it was the 
original motte of the Hays. King William gave the 
Hays the manor of Errol, in Perthshire, which was made 
into a barony. Here is or was the mote of Errol, 
"a round artificial mound about 20 feet high, and 30 
feet in diameter at the top ; the platform at the top 
surrounded with a low turf wall, and the whole enclosed 
with a turf wall at the base, in the form of an equilateral 
triangle." (N. S. A. ; evidently a triangular bailey.) It 
is called the Law Knoll, and is spoken of as a fortali- 
cium in 1546. (N.) 



LENNOX— MELVILT.E 315 

Lennox. — The earls of Lennox are descended from 
Arkel, an Englishman, who received from Malcolm 
Canmore lands in Dumbartonshire. At Catter, near 
the Earl's castle, is a large artificial mound. -^ 

LocKHART. — Stevenston, in Ayrshire, takes Its name 
from Stephen Loccard, and Symington, in Lanark, from 
his son (?), Simon Loccard. At Stevenson there was 
formerly a castle, and there still (1845) is a Castle Hill. 
Stevenston was given by Richard Morville to Stephen 
Loccard about 11 70. (N. S. A.) At Symington there 
was formerly a round mound, called Law Hill, at the 
foot of the village, but it has been levelled. (N. S. A.) 

Logan. — A Robert Logan witnesses a charter of 
William the Lion, and appears later as Dominus 
Robertus de Logan. The name Robert shows his 
Norman origin. At Drumore, near Logan (parish of 
Kirkmalden, Wigton), there was a castle, and there is 
still a court hill or mote.^ Another mote, at Myroch, 
In the same parish. Is mentioned by Mr Neilson as the 
site of the chief messuage of the barony of Logan. 

LovEL. — Settled at Hawick, Roxburghshire. The 
mote of Hawick, from the picture in Scott's Border 
Antiqttities, seems to be a particularly fine one. 
Hawick was a barony, and Le Molt Is mentioned In 

1511- (N.) 

Lyle, or Lisle. — The castle of this Norman family 
was at Duchal, Renfrewshire. The plan is clearly that 
of a motte and bailey, but the motte is of natural 
rock.^ 

Male, now Melville. — Settled in Haddingtonshire 

^ Chalmers, Caledonia^ iii., 864. Sir Archibald Lawrie, however, regards 
it as doubtful whether Arkel was the ancestor of the earls of Lennox. 
Early Scottish Charters., p. 327. 

2 M'Ferlie, Lands and Their Owners in Galloway^ ii., 140- 141. 

•"' See plan in MacGibbon and Ross, Castellated Architecture^ iv., 341. 



316 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

under David I., and called their seat Melville. Melville 
Castle Is modern. They afterwards obtained by- 
marriage lands on the Bervie River, In the Mearns. 
Dr Christison's map shows a motte near the mouth of 
the Bervie. 

Maxwell. — Maccus, son of Unwin ^ (evidently of 
Scandinavian origin), received lands on the Tweed from 
David I., and called his seat Maccusville, corrupted Into 
Maxwell. There is a motte at Maxwell, near Kelso. 
(N.) Maxton, In Roxburghshire, takes its name from 
him, and there is a motte called Ringley Hall, on the 
Tweed, In this parish. (C. and N. S. A.) 

MoNTALT, or MowAT. — Robert de Montalto (Mold, 
In Flintshire) witnesses a charter of David I. The 
family settled In Cromarty. Le Mote at Cromarty is 
mentioned In 1470. (N.) 

Montgomery. — This family is undoubtedly de- 
scended from some one of the sons of the great Earl 
Roger of Shrewsbury, settled in Scotland after the ruin 
of his family in England. Robert de Montgomerie 
received the manor of Eaglesham, Renfrew, from 
FItz Alan, the High Steward of Scotland. The 
principal messuage of this manor was at Polnoon, ^ 
mile S.E. of Eaglesham. Here Sir John Montgomerie 
built the castle of Polnoon about 1388. (N. S. A.) 
The O.M. seems to show that the ruins of this castle 
stand on a motte, probably the original castle of 
Montgomerie. 

MoRViLLE. — Hugh de Morvllle was a Northampton- 
shire baron, the life-long friend of David I.^ He 
founded one of the most powerful families In the south 

' The name Maccus is undoubtedly the same as Magnus, a Latin 
adjective much affected as a proper name by the Norwegians of the nth 
and 1 2th centuries. ^ Lawrie, Early Scottish Charters^ p. 273. 



o 1 h' 



MORVILLE— OLIPHANT 317 

of Scotland, though after three generations their lands 
passed to heiresses, and their chief seat Is not even 
known by name. But Mr Nellson states that Darnhall, 
In Peebles, was the head of their "Black Barony," and 
that there Is a motte there. As Hugh de Morvllle gave 
the church of Borgue to Dryburgh Abbey about 1150, 
it is probable that the motte at Boreland of Borgue was 
one of his castles. The barony of Belth, in Ayr, given 
by Richard de Morvllle to the Abbey of Kilwinning, 
has also a motte, which may be reckoned to be the site 
of a De Morvllle castle. Largs, In Ayr, belonged to the 
De Morvllles, and has a Castle Hill near the village, 
which appears to be a motte. (G.) 

Mowbray. — This w^ell-know^n Norman family also 
sent a branch to Scotland. Amongst other places, 
about which we have no details, they held Eckford, In 
Roxburghshire. In this parish, near the ancient 
mansion, Is an artificial mount called Haughhead KIpp. 
(N. S. A.) This seems a possible motte, but Its 
features are not described. 

Murray. — Freskin the Fleming came to Scotland 
under David I., and received from that king lands in 
Moray. He built himself a castle at Duffus, In Elgin, 
which is on the motte-and-balley plan.-^ The stone 
keep now on the motte appears to be of the 14th 
century. Freskin's posterity took the name of De 
Moravia, or Moray. (Fig. 44.) 

OuPHANT, or Olifard. — Cambuslang, in Lanark, 
belonged to Walter Olifard, Justiciary of Lothian In 
the time of Alexander H. About a mile E. of the 
church Is a circular mound 20 feet high. It was here 
that the Oliphants' castle of Drumsagard formerly 
stood. (N. S. A.) Drumsagard was a barony. (N.) 

^ MacGibbon and Ross, i., 279. 



318 MOTTK-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

De Quincy. — Obtained from William the Lion the 
manors of Travernant, in East Lothian, and Leuchars, 
in Fife. Near the village of Leuchars is a motte with 
some slight remains of a stone keep, a deep well in the 
centre, and an entrenched bailey, known as the site of 
the castle of Leuchars.^ 

Ross. — Godfrey de Ros, a vassal of Richard de 
Morvllle, held of him the lands of Stewarton, in Ayr. 
The caput of the lordship was Castletown, where Le 
Mote is spoken of in 145 1 (N. and C). The De Ros 
were also the first lords of the barony of Sanquhar. A 
little lower down the river Nith than the later castle 
of Sanquhar is a mote called Ryehill, and a place 
anciently manorial. (N.) 

SoMERViLLE. — William de Somerville was a Norman 
to whom David L gave the manor of Carnwath, in 
Lanarkshire. There is a very perfect entrenched motte 
at Carnwath (N. S. A. and O.M.), and Le Molt de 
Carnwath is mentioned In 1599. (N.) 

De Soulis. — Followed David L from Northampton- 
shire into Scotland, and received LIddesdale, in 
Roxburghshire, from him. The motte and bailey of 
his original castle still remain, very near the more cele- 
brated but much later Hermitage Castle.^ (^ ig- 44-) 

Valoignes. — Philip de Valolgnes and his son 
William were each successively chamberlains of 
Scotland.^ One of their estates was Easter Kilbride, 
in Lanarkshire, where they had a castle. In this parish 
is an artificial mount of earth, with an oval area on top, 
about \ mile from the present house of Torrance. 
(N. S. A.) 

^ Proceedings of Soc. Ant. Scotland^ xxxi., and N. S. A. 

"^ See Armstrong's History of Liddesdale^ cited by MacGibbon and Ross, 

i., 523. 

^ Round, The Ancestor^ No. ii, 130. 



VAUX— WALLACE 319 

Vaux, or De Vallibus. — Settled in Scotland under 
William the Lion. Held the manors of Dirleton and 
Golyn, in East Lothian. Dirleton has been transformed 
into an Edwardian castle, but from the pictures it 
appears to stand on a natural motte of rock. But 
about 3 miles from Dirleton the O.M. shows a large 
motte called Castle Hill, which may possibly be the 
original castle of the De Vaux. 

Wallace, or Wallensis. — Richard Walensis was 
the first of this family, and acquired lands in Ayrshire 
in David L's time. He named his seat Riccardton, 
after himself, and the remains of his motte are still 
there, a small oval motte called Castle Hill, on which 
the church of Riccarton now stands, but which is 
recognised as having been a ''mote hill." (G.) 

To this list must be added a number of royal castles 
known to have been built in the 12th century, which, as 
they were built on mottes, must in the first instance 
have been wooden castles. 

Banff. — It seems clear that Banff Castle had a 
motte, because the doggerel rhymes of Arthur Johnstone 
in 1642 say : 

A place was near which was a field until 
Our ancestors did raise it to a hill ; 
A stately castle also on it stood. 

The Gazetteer says : " The citadel occupied a mount, 
originally at the end though now near the middle of the 
town." The site is still called Castle Hill. (N. S. A.) 

Crail, Fife. — The O.M. does not show a motte here. 
The N. S. A. says "there was a royal residence here, 
upon an eminence overlooking the harbour." That this 
"eminence" was a motte seems clear from the Reo^ister 
of the Great Seal, quoted by Mr Neilson, which speaks 
of " Le Moitt olim castrum " in 1573. 



i 



320 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

Cupar. — There seem to be two mottes here, both 
raised on a natural ''esker"; the one formerly called 
the Castle Hill is now called the School Hill, the school 
having been built upon it. The other and higher hill is 
called the Moot Hill, and is said to be the place where 
the earls of Fife used to dispense justice. (N. S. A.) 
Mr Neilson states that both are mentioned in the 
Registrum. 

Dumfries. — Here there were two mottes, one being 
now the site of a church, the other, called Castle Dykes, 
a short distance S. of the town, on the opposite side of 
the river. Both no doubt were royal castles, and Mr 
Neilson has suggested that as an old castlestead is 
spoken of in a charter of William the Lion, it implies 
that a new castle had recently been built, possibly after 
the great destruction of the royal castles in Galloway in 
1 174.^ The Castle Dykes appears to be the later castle, 
as it is spoken of in the i6th century. (N.) 

DuNSKEATH, Cromarty. — Built by William the Lion 
in 1 1 79. The castle is built on a small moat over- 
hanging the sea. (G.) 

Elgin. — Built by William the Lion on a small green 
hill called Lady Hill, with conical and precipitous sides. 
(N. S. A. and G.) 

Forfar. — '' The castle stood on a round hill to the 
N. of the town, and must have been surrounded by ! 
water." (N. S. A.) It was destroyed in 1307. It is 
called Gallow Hill in the O.M., and is now occupied by 
gasworks. 

' Be?iedici of Peterborough, i., 67. See Mr Neilson's papers in the 
Dumfries Standard, June 28, 1899. Mr Neilson remarks : " It may well be 
that the original castle of Dumfries was one of Malcolm IV.'s forts, and I 
that the mote of Troqueer, at the other side of a ford of the river, was the 
first little strength cf the series by which the Norman grip of the province 
was sought to be maintained." 



FORRES— LANARK 321 

Forres. — The plan In Chalmers' Caledonia clearly 
shows a motte, to which the town appears to have 
formed a bailey. 

Inverness. — Built by David I. when he annexed 
Moray. The site is now occupied by a gaol, but the 
O.M. shows it to have been a motte, which is clearly 
depicted in old engravings. 

Innermessan. — As the lands here appear to have 
been royal property as late as the time of David II., the 
large round motte here may have been an early royal 
castle, a conjecture which finds some confirmation in the 
name '' Boreland of Kingston," which Pont places in 
the same parish. (N. S. A.) 

Jedburgh. — Probably built by David I. The site, 
which is still called Castle Hill, has been levelled and 
completely obliterated by the building of a gaol. Yet 
an old plan of the town in 1762, in the possession of the 
late Mr Laidlaw of Jedburgh, shows the outline of the 
castle to have been exactly that of a motte and bailey, 
though, as no hachures are given, it is not absolutely 
convincing. 

KiNCLEVEN, Perth. — The O.M. shows no earthworks 
connected with the present castle, but on the opposite 
side of the river it places a motte called Castle Hill, 
which may very likely be the site of the original castle. 

Kirkcudbright. — Dr Christlson marks a motte here, 
to the W. of the town. The place is called Castle 
Dykes. Mr Coles says it has an oblong central mound 
1 and a much larger entrenched area.^ 

Lanark. — Ascribed traditionally to David I. ''On 
a small artificially shaped hill between the town and the 
river, at the foot of the street called Castle Gate, and 

^ " Mottes, Forts, and Doons of Kirkcudbright," Soc. Ant. Scot.^ xxv., 
1890. 

X 



322 MOTTE-CASTLES IN SCOTLAND 

still bearing the name of Castle Hill, there stood in 
former times beyond all doubt a royal castle." (N. S. A.) 
Mr Neilson says, ** It certainly bears out its reputation 
as an artificial mound." 

RosEMARKiE, Cromarty. — Was made a royal burgh by 
Alexander II., so the castle must have been originally 
royal. " Immediately above the town is a mound of 
nearly circular form, and level on the top, which seems 
to be artificial, and has always been called the Court 
Hill." (N. S. A.) 

Even if we had no other evidence that motte-castles 
were of Norman construction, this list would be very 
significant. But taken in connection with the evidence 
for the Norman origin of the English, Welsh, and Irish 
mottes, it supplies ample proof that in Scotland, as else- 
where, the Norman and feudal settlement had its 
material guarantees in the castles which were planted 
all over the land, and that these castles were the simple 
structures of earth and wood, whose earthen remains 
have been the cause of so much mystification. 



9 



CHAPTER XI 



MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 



In the year 1169, when the first Norman invaders 
landed in Ireland, the private castle had been in exist- 
ence in England for more than a hundred years, and 
had it been suited to the social organisation of the Irish 
people, there had been plenty of time for its introduction 
into Ireland. Nor are we in a position to deny that 
some chieftain with a leaning towards foreign fashions 
may have built for himself a castle in the Anglo-Norman 
style ; all we can say is that there is not the slightest 
evidence of such a thing.^ We have two contemporary 
accounts of the Norman settlement in Ireland, the one 
given by Giraldus in his Expugnatio Hibernica, and the 
Anglo-Norman poem, edited by Mr Goddard H. Orpen, 
under the title of the " Song of Dermot and the Earl." ^ 
Now Giraldus expressly tells us that the Irish did not 

^ The Annals of the Four Masters mention the building of three castles 
(caisteol) in Connaught in 1125, and the Annals of Ulster say that Tirlagh 
O'Connor built a castle (caislen) at Athlone in 1129. What the nature of 
these castles was it is now impossible to say, but there are no mottes at the 
three places mentioned in Connaught (Dunlo, Galway, and Coloony). The 
caislen at Athlone was not recognised by the Normans as a castle of their 
sort, as John built his castle on a new site, on land obtained from the church. 
Sweetman^s Cal.^ p. 80. 

- The meagre entries in the various Irish Annals may often come from 
contemporary sources, but as none of their MSS. are older than the 14th 
century, they do not stand on the same level as the two authorities above 
mentioned. 

828 



324 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

use castles, but preferred to take refuge In their forests 
and bogs.^ The statement is a remarkable one, since 
Ireland abounds with defensive works of a very ancient 
character ; are we to suppose that these were only used 
in the prehistoric period ? But if castles of the Norman 
kind had been in general use in Ireland in the 12th 
century, we should certainly hear of their having been 
a serious hindrance to the invaders. The history of the 
invasion, however, completely confirms the statement of 
Giraldus ; we never once hear of the Irish defending 
themselves in a castle. When they do stand a siege, it 
is in a walled town, and a town which has been walled, 
not by themselves, but by the Danes, to whom Giraldus 
expressly attributes these walls. Moreover, the repeated 
insistence of Giraldus on the necessity of systematic 
incastellation of the whole country - is proof enough that 
no such incastellation existed. 

It is true that in some of the earliest Irish literature 
we hear of the dun, lis, or rath (the words are inter- 
changeable), which encircled the chieftain's house. 

1 "Hibernicus enim populus castella non curat; silvis namque pro 
castris, paludibus utitur pro fossatis." Top. Hib., 182, R. S., vol. v. In 
the same passage he speaks of the "fossa infinita, alta nimis, rotunda 
quoque, et pleraque triplicia : castella etiam murata, et adhuc Integra, 
vacua tamen et deserta," which he ascribes to the Northmen. This passage 
has been gravely adduced as an argument in favour of the prehistoric exist- 
ence of mottes ! as though a round ditch necessarily implied a round hill 
within it ! Giraldus was probably alluding to the round embankments or 
raths, of which such immense numbers are still to be found in Ireland. By 
the " walled castles " he probably meant the stone enclosures or cashels 
which are also so numerous in Ireland. In the time of Giraldus the word 
castellufH, though it had become the proper word for a private castle, had 
not quite lost its original sense of a fortified enclosure of any kind, as we 
know from the phrases " the castle and tower" or "the castle and motte " 
not infrequent in documents of the 12th century (see Round's Geoffrey de 
Mandeville, Appendix O, p. 328). We may add that Giraldus' attribution 
of these prehistoric remains to Thorgils, the Norwegian, only shows that 
their origin was unknown in his day. 

- See Expug. Hib., 383, 397, 39^- 



THE RATHS OF IRELAND 325 

Many descriptions of royal abodes in Irish poems are 
evidently purely fanciful, but underneath the poetical 
adornments we can discern the features of the great 
wooden hall which appears to have been the residence of 
the tribal chieftain, whether Keltic, Norse, or Saxon, 
throughout the whole north of Europe in early times. ^ 
The thousands of earthen rings, generally called raths, 
which are still scattered over Ireland, are believed to be 
the enclosures of these kings' or chieftains' homesteads. 
Were they intended for serious military defence ? We 
are not in a position to answer this question categori- 
cally, but the plans of a number of them which we have 
examined do not suggest anything but a very slight 
fortification, sufficient to keep off wolves. At all events 
we never hear of these raths or duns standing a siege ; 
the conquering raider comes, sees, and burns.^ We are 
therefore justified in concluding that they did not at all 
correspond to what we mean by a private castle. And 
most certainly the motte-castle, with its very small 
citadel, and its limited accommodation for the flocks and 
herds of a tribe, was utterly unsuited to the requirements 
of the tribal system. 

A good deal of light is thrown on the way in which 
Irish chieftains regarded private castles at the time of 
the invasion by the well-known story of one who refused 
a castle offered him by the invaders, saying that he 
preferred a castle of bones to a castle of stones. 
Whether legendary or not, it represents the natural 
feeling of a man who had been accustomed to sleep 
trustfully in the midst of men of his own blood, tied to 
him by the bonds of the clan. The clan system in 

^ I am informed that the " Crith Gablach," which gives a minute 
description of one of these halls, is a very late document, and by no means 
to be trusted. 

- Vide the Irish A?inals, passim. 



326 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

Ireland undoubtedly led to great misery through the 
absence of a central authority to check the raids of one 
clan upon another ; but though we occasionally hear of 
a chieftain being murdered *'by his own," we have no 
reason to think that clan loyalty was not sufficient, as a 
rule, for the Internal safety of the community. So that 
a popular chieftain might well refuse a fortification 
which had every mark of a hateful and suspicious 
invader.-^ 

Unfortunately there is — or has been until quite 
recently — a strong prejudice In the minds of Irish 
antiquaries that works of the motte-and-balley kind 
belong to the prehistoric age of Ireland. Irish scholars 
indeed admit that the word mota Is not found In any Irish 
MS. which dates from before the Norman Invasion of 
Ireland.^ We must therefore bear In mind that when 
they tell us that such and such an ancient book mentions 
the **mote" at Naas or elsewhere, what they mean Is 
that it mentions a dun, or 7^ath, or lo7igport, which they 
imagine to be the same as a motte. But this is begging 
the whole question. There is not the slightest proof 
that any of these words meant a motte. Dun Is often 
taken to mean a hill (perhaps from its resemblance to 
Anglo-Saxon dtiTi), but Keltic scholars are now agreed 
that it is cognate with the German zaun and Anglo- 
Saxon tun, meaning a fenced enclosure.^ It may be 
applied to a fort on a hill, but It may equally well be 

^ There is another story, preserved in Hamner^s Chronicle, that the Irish 
chief Mac Mahon levelled two castles given to him by John de Courcy, 
saying he had promised to hold not stones but land. 

2 Joyce's Irish Names of Places, p. 290. 

3 See J. E. Lloyd, Cyniinrodor, xi., 24 ; Skeat's English Dictionary, 
"town." In the " Dindsenchas of Erin," edited by O'Beirne Crowe, Journ. 
R. S.A.I., 1872-1873, phrases occur, such as "the dun was open," "she went 
back into the dun," which show clearly that the dun was an enclosure. In 
several passages dun and cathair are interchanged. 



SEPULCHRAL TUMULI 327 

applied to a fort on the flat. Rath is translated fossa 
In the Book of Armagh ; Jocelln of Furness equates It 
with mzcrus} The rath of Armagh was evidently a 
very large enclosure In ii 66, containing several streets, 
houses, and churches, so It was certainly not a motte.^ 
It is of course not impossible that the Normans may 
sometimes have occupied an ancient fortified site, but we 
may be sure from the considerations already urged that 
the fortifications which they erected were of a wholly 
different character to the previous ones, even if they 
utilised a portion for their bailey. 

It is of course difficult to decide In some cases (both 
in Ireland and elsewhere) whether a mound which stands 
alone without a bailey is a sepulchral tumulus or a 
motte. There are some mottes in England and 
Scotland which have no baileys attached to them, and 
do not appear ever to have had any. In Ireland, the 
country of magnificent sepulchral tumuli. It is not 
wonderful that the barrow and the motte have become 
confused In popular language. It would appear, too, that 
there exist In Ireland several Instances of artificial 
tumuli which were used for the inauguration of Irish 
chieftains, and these have occasionally been mistaken for 
mottes.^ As Mr Orpen has shown, there are generally 
Indications In the unsuitability of the sites. In the 
absence of real fortification, or In the presence of 
sepulchral signs, to show that these tumuli did not 
belong to the motte class. Magh Adair, for example, 
which has been adduced as a motte outside the Norman 
boundary, is shown by Mr Orpen to be of quite a 
different character. 

^ Joyce, Irish Names of Places, p. 273. 
* Annals of the Four Masters, 1 166. 

^ See Orpen, "Motes and Norman Castles in Ireland/" in Journ, 
R. S. A, /., xxxvii., 143-147. 



328 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

At many sites In Ireland where the Normans are 
known to have built castles at an early period of the 
invasion there are no mottes to be seen now. It is 
probable that where the Norman conquerors had both 
money and time at their disposal they built stone keeps 
from the first, and that the motte-castles, with their 
wooden towers or bretasches, were built in the times of 
stress, or were the residences of the less wealthy under- 
tenants. But we know from documents that even in 
John's reign the important royal castle of Roscrea was 
built with a motte and bretasche,^ which proves that 
this type of castle was still so much esteemed that we 
may feel reasonably certain that when Giraldus speaks 
of ''slender defences of turf and stakes" he does not 
mean motte - castles, but mere embankments and 
palisades.^ 

But there is another reason for the absence of 
mottes from some of the early Norman castle sites. 
Those who have examined the castles of Wales know 
that it is rare to find a motte in a castle which 
has undergone the complete metamorphoses of the 
Edwardian ^ period. These new castles had no keeps, 
and necessitated an entire change of plan, which led 
either to the destruction of the motte or the building of 
an entirely new castle on a different site. The removal 
of a motte is only a question of spade labour, and many 

^ Sweetman's Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, i,, 412. 

2 That a motte-castle of earth and wood seemed to Giraldus quite an 
adequate castle is proved by the fact that numbers of the castles which he 
mentions have never had any stone defences. It may be a mere coin- 
cidence, but it is worth noting, that there are no mottes now at any of the 
places which Giraldus mentions as exilia niunicipia^ Pembroke, Dundun- 
nolf, Down City, and Carrick. 

^ This word must not be understood to mean that this new type of 
castle was Edward's invention, nor even that he was the first to introduce it 
into Europe from Palestine ; it was used by the Hohenstauffen emperors as 
early as 1224. See Kohler, Entwickelung des Kriegswesen^ iii., 475. 



O'DONOVAN^S GUESSES 329 

sites in England can be pointed out where mottes are 
known to have existed formerly, but where now not a 
vestige is left.^ There are many other cases where the 
Edwardian castle shows not a trace of any former 
earthworks, but where a motte and bailey a little dis- 
tance off probably represents the original wooden 
castle.^ 

The passion for identifying existing earthworks 
with sites mentioned in ancient Irish history or 
legend has been a most serious hindrance to the 
progress of real archaeological knowledge in Ireland. 
It is not until one begins to look into this matter 
that one finds out what giddy guesswork most of 
these identifications of Irish place-names really are. 
O'Donovan was undoubtedly a great Irish scholar, 
and his editions of the Book of Rights and the 
Annals of the Foiir Masters are of the highest im- 
portance. The topographical notes to these works 
are generally accepted as final. But let us see what 
his method was in this part of his labours. In the 
Book of Rights, he says very naively, about a place 
called Ladhrann or Ardladhrann, " I cannot find any 
place in Wexford according with the notices of this 
place except Ardamine, on the sea-coast, where there is 
a remarkable moatT^ No modern philologist, we think, 
would admit that Ardamine could be descended from 
Ardladhrann. In the same way O'Donovan guessed 
Treada-na-righ, *' the triple-fossed fort of the kings," to 
be the motte of Kilfinnane, near Kilmallock. But this 
was a pure guess, as he had previously guessed it to be 
" one of the forts called Dun-g-Claire." To the anti- 
quaries of that day one earthwork seemed as good as 

' Newcastle, Worcester, Gloucester, and Bristol are instances. 

- Rhuddlan is an instance of this. ^ Book of Rights^ p. 203. 



330 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAiND 

another, and differences of type were not considered 
important.^ 



The following list of early Norman castles in Ireland 
was first published in the Antiquary for 1906. It is an 
attempt to form a complete list from contemporary 
historians only, that is, from Giraldus Cambrensis and 
the *' Song of Dermot," and from the documents published 
in Sweetman's Calendar, of the Norman castles built in 
Ireland, up to the end of John's reign.^ Since then, the 
task has been taken up on a far more philosophical plan 
by Mr Goddard H. Orpen, whose exceptional knowledge 
of the history of the invasion and the families of the 
conquerors has enabled him to trace their settlements in 
Ireland as they have never been traced before.^ Never- 
theless, it still seems worth while to republish this list, 
as though within a limited compass, consistent with the 
writer's limited knowledge, it furnishes an adequate test 
of the correctness of the Norman theory, on a perfectly 
sound basis. The list has now the advantage of being 
corrected from Mr Orpen's papers, and of being 
enlarged by identifications which he has been able to 
make/ 

1 It must be admitted that in the most recent and most learned edition 
of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the topographical identifications are quite on 
a level with O'Donovan's. 

2 The Annals have not been used, partly because in their present form 
they are not contemporary, and partly because the difficulties of identifying 
many of the castles they mention appeared insuperable. 

3 See especially two papers on " Motes and Norman Castles in Ireland," 
in English Historical Review, vol. xxii., pp. 228, 240. Mr Orpen has 
further enriched this subject by a number of papers in Xhtjotirn. R. S. A. /., 
to which reference will be made subsequently. 

^ The only castles still unidentified are Aq'i, Kilmehal, Rokerel, and 
Inchleder. 



ANTRIM— ARDREE 331 

^Antrim ^ (C^/., i., 88). — A royal castle in 1251. 
Present castle modern ; close to it is a large motte, 
marked in 25-inch O.M. 

Aq'i {CaL, i., 13). — Unidentified ; perhaps an alias for 
one of the Limerick castles, as it was certainly in the 
county of Limerick. 

Ardfinnan, Tipperary {Gir., v., 386). — Built in 1185, 
immediately after John's coming to Ireland. No motte ; 
castle is late Edwardian and partly converted into a 
modern house ; one round tower has ogee windows. 
[B. T. S.] 

Ardmayle, or Armolen, Tipperary {CaL, i., 81). — A 
castle of Theobald Walter. A motte with half-moon 
bailey, and earthen wing walls running up its sides, 
exactly as stone walls do in later Norman castles. 
Ruins of a Perpendicular mansion close to it, and also a 
square tower with ogee windows. [B. T. S.] Fig. 45. 

Ardnurcher, or Horseleap, King's Co. {Song of 
Dermot and CaL, i., 145). — A castle of Meiler Fitz 
Henry's, built in 1192.^ An oblong motte with one 
certain bailey, and perhaps a second. No masonry but 
the remains of a wall or bridge across the fosse. [B. T. S.] 

Ardree, Kildare {Gir., v., 356, and Song), — The 
castle built by Hugh de Lacy for Thomas the Fleming 
in 1 182, was at Ardri, on the Barrow. There is an 
artificial mound at Ardree, turned into a graveyard, and 
near it a levelled platform above the river, on which 
stands Ardree House.^ On the west bank of the 

^ It should be stated that the great majority of the castles in this list 
have been visited for the writer by Mr Basil T. Stallybrass, who has a large 
acquaintance with English earthworks, as well as a competent knowledge 
of the history of architecture. The rest have been visited by the writer 
herself, except in a few cases where the information given in Lewis's Topo- 
graphical Dictionary or other sources was sufficient. The castles personally 
visited are initialled. 

- Annals 0/ Loch Ce. ' Orpen, Eng. Hist. Rev.^ xxii., 249. 



332 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

Barrow, opposite Ardree, is a low circular motte with 
ditch and bank, but no bailey. A piece of Norman 
pottery with green glaze was found by Mr Stallybrass, 
one foot below the surface in the counterscarp bank. 
Mr Orpen thinks this motte may have been the castle of 
Robert de Bigarz, also mentioned by Giraldus as near 
Ardree, on the opposite side of the Barrow. 

AsKEATON, or HiNNESKESTi, Limerlck. — Built in 
1 1 99, probably by Hamo de Valoignes.^ An excellent 
instance of a motte-and-bailey castle, where the motte 
Is of natural rock. The splendid keep and hall are of 
the 15th century, but there are two older towers, which 
might date from 1199. This natural motte has been 
identified with the ancient Irish fort of Gephthine 
( Askeaton = Eas Gephthine), mentioned in the Book of 
Rights. But this work does not mention any fort at 
Gephthine, only the place, in a list which is clearly one 
of lands (perhaps mensal lands), not of forts, as it 
contains many names of plains, and of tribes, as well as 
the three isles of Arran.^ 

^AsKELON, or EscLUEN {CaL, i., 91). — Castle restored 
to Richard de Burgh in 1215 ; the site is placed by Mr 
Orpen at Carrigogunell, which is in the parish of 
Kilkeedy, Limerick.^ Carrigogunell has the ruins of a 
castle on a natural motte of rock. 

1 Orpen, Eng. Hist. Rev., xxii., 450, citing from MS. Annals of Innis- 
fallen. 

- The poetical list enumerates the places which were " of the right of 
Cashel in its power." The prose version, which may be assumed to be 
later, is entitled " Do phortaibh righ Caisil," which O'Donovan translates 
" of the seats of the king of Cashel." But can one small king have had sixty- 
one different abodes ? Professor Bury says "The Book of Rights sixW awaits 
a critical investigation." Life of St Patrick, p. 69. 

^ Ibid., p. 449. See Westropp, Trans. R. 1. A., xxvi. (c), p. 146. Mr 
Orpen informs me that the Black Book of Limerick contains a charter of 
William de Burgo which mentions " Ecclesia de Escluana alias Kilkyde." 
No. cxxxv. 



ATHLONE— CARBURY 333 

^Athlone, Roscommon (CaL, i., 80). — Built in 12 10 
by the Justiciar, John de Gray. The keep is placed on 
a lofty motte, which has been revetted with masonry. 
Turlough O'Connor built a caislemX Athlone in 11 29, 
but it was not even on the site of the Norman castle, 
for which John obtained land from the church, as already 
stated. 

Baginbun {Gir., i., 13; So7ig, 1406). — Mr Orpen has 
proved that this was the spot where Raymond le Gros 
landed and entrenched himself for four months.^ It is a 
headland on the sea-coast, and headland castles seldom 
have mottes, as they were not needed on a promontory 
washed on three sides by the sea. Moreover, Baginbun 
was of the nature of a temporary fort rather than a 
residential castle, and it is to be noted that Giraldus 
calls it "a poor sort of a castle of stakes and sods." 
Still, the small inner area, ditched off with a double 
ditch, and the large area, also ditched, roughly corre- 
spond to the motte-and-bailey plan. [B. T. S.] 

Balimore Eustace, Kildare (Cat., i., 28).^ — A castle 
of the Archbishop of Dublin. A motte, with a remark- 
able platform attached to one side (cf, Wigmore Castle). 
No bailey now; no stone castle. [B. T. S.] 

Caherconlish (Karkinlis, Kakaulis, CaL, i., 8i).- — ■ 
Castle of Theobald FItz Walter. There is nothing left 
above ground but a chimney of late date. A few yards 
from it is a hillock, which has very much the appearance 
of a mutilated motte. [E. S. A.] Mr Orpen, however, 
thinks that Theobald's castle may have been at Knock- 
atancashlane, **the hill of the old castle," a townland a 
little to the north of Caherconlish.^ 

Carbury, Kildare. — The Song says Meiler Fitz 

^ Joum. R. S. A. /., 1898, 155 ; and 1904, 354. 
^ £n£^. Hist. Rev.^ xxii., 452. 



334 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

Henry first got Carbury, so the castle was probably his. 
It Is a motte with two baileys, one of Imperfect outline, 
the other a curious little half-circle. A 15th-century 
castle Is built against the side of the motte. [B. T. S.] 

Carlingford, Louth (CaL, I., 95). — Apparently a 
royal castle (C^/., I., 156), first mentioned in 121 5. It 
stands on a rock, which might possibly have been a 
former motte. There certainly has been a former castle, 
for the present ruin is Edwardian in plan and in every 
detail. [E. S. A.] 

Carrick, Wexford (6^/r.,v., 245). — This again seems 
to be one of the temporary forts built by the first 
invaders (In this case Fitz Stephen), in a strong natural 
situation, and GIraldus applies to it the same con- 
temptuous language as to Baginbun. There Is no motte, 
but an oval area of 45 yards by 25 Is ditched and banked ; 
a modern Imitation of a round tower stands within the 
enclosure. [B. T. S.] 

Carrickfergus, Antrim (C^;/., i., 107). — This was 
probably one of the castles built by John de Courcy, 
the conqueror of Ulster. The gatehouse and mural 
towers are late, but the keep may well be of De Courcy 's 
time, and furnishes an excellent instance of a castle 
on the keep-and-bailey plan, built by the Normans in 
stone from the beginning. [E. S. A.] 

Castletown Delvin, Westmeath [G^V., v., 356]. — 
Castle of Gilbert de Nungent. A motte, with a garden 
at base, which may have been the bailey; near it the< 
stone castle, a keep with round towers at the angles, : 
probably not as early as John's reign. [B. T. S.] 

Clonard, Meath {Gir., v., 356). — Built by Hugh de 
Lacy about 1182. A motte, with broad ditch and 
curious little oblong bailey; no remains in masonry.) 
[B. T. S.] j 

1\ 



CLONMACNOISE— DOWNPATRICK 335 

Clonmacnoise, King's Co. (Cat., i., 94). — First con- 
temporary mention 1215 ; the Annals of Loch Ce say it 
was built in 12 14 ''by the foreigners." A royal castle. 
A large motte with bailey attached ; the wing walls of 
the bailey run up the motte. The importance of the 
castle is shown by the fact that a stone keep was added 
not very long after it was built. [B. T. S.] 

"^CoLLACHT (Gir., v., 355). — Castle of John of Here- 
ford. Collacht appears to be a scribal error for Tullaght, 
now Tullow, Carlow.^ The site of the castle is marked 
on the 6-inch O.M. ; it has been visited by Mr G. H. 
Orpen, who found very clear indications of a motte and 
bailey. (See Appendix L.) 

Crometh (Cal.y i., 91). — Castle of Maurice FitzGerald. 
Supposed to be Croom, Limerick, though the identifi- 
cation Is by no means certain.^ There are the ruins of 
an Edwardian castle at Croom ; no motte. [E. S. A.] 

DowNPATRiCK, Down (Gir., v., 345). — The traveller 
approaching Downpatrick sees a number of small hills 
which no doubt have once been islands rising out of 
the swamps of the Quoyle. On one of these hills stands 
the town and its cathedral ; on another, to the east, but 
separated from the town by a very steep descent and a 
brook, stands a motte and bailey of the usual Norman 
type. It occupies the whole summit of the small hill, so 
that the banks of the bailey are at a great height above 
the outer ditch, which is carried round the base of the 
hill (compare Sklpsea). The motte, which is not a very 
1 large one, has had an earthen breastwork round the top, 
i now much broken away. Its ditch falls Into the ditch 
I of the bailey, but at a higher level. The bailey is semi- 
I lunar, extending round about three-quarters of the 

^ Butler's Notices of the Castle of Triin^ p. 13. 
2 Eng. Hist. Rev.^ xxii., 458. 



336 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

circumference of the motte. There Is not the slightest 
sign of masonry. As the size of this work has been 
greatly exaggerated, It Is as well to say that when 
measured on the 25-inch O.M. with a planlmeter, Its 
area proves to be 3.9 acres ; the area of the motte and 
its ditch .9, leaving 3 acres for the bailey. [E. S. A.] 

Fig. 45. 

This thoroughly Norman-French castle, which was 
formerly called a Danish fort, has lately been baptised 
as Rathceltchair, and supposed to be the work of a 
mythical hero of the ist century a.d. Mr Orpen, 
however, has disposed of this fancy by showing that the 
name Rathceltchair belonged in pre-Norman times to 
the enclosure of the ancient church and monastery which 
stood on the other hill.^ We may therefore unhesitat- 
ingly ascribe this motte-castle to John de Courcy, who 
first put up a slender fortification within the town walls 
to defend himself against temporary attack,^ but after- 
wards built a regular castle, for which this island offered 
a most favourable site.^ A stone castle was built Inside 
the town at a later period ; it is now entirely destroyed. 

Drogheda, Louth (CaL, I., 93). — First mention 
1203, but Mr Orpen thinks it probable that It was one 
of the castles built by Hugh de Lacy, who died in 11 86. 
A high motte, with a round and a square bailey, just 
outside the town walls ;* called the Mill Mount in the 
time of Cromwell, who occupied it ; he mentions that It 
had a good ditch, strongly pallsadoed.^ No stone 

1 Eng. Hist. Rev., xxii., 441. 

2 "Exile municipium," Giraldus, 345. See Eng. Hist. Rev.., xx., 717. 
^ Annals of Ulster^ ii77- 

4 See Orpen, " xMotes and Castles in County Louth," Journ. R. S. A. /., 
xxxviii., 249. The town walls are later than the castle, and were built up 
to it. 

^ Cited by Westrcpp, Journ. R. S. A. /., 1904, paper on "Irish Motes 
and Early Norman Castles." 



Feet. 



j '".41.,., '""^^^ 



Ardmatle. 







O lOO zoo 300 



/^eet 



DOWNPATRICK. 




Fee.t 




Feet 



Drogheda. 



Castleknock. 



Fig. 45.— Irish Motte-Castles. 



[To face p. 336 



DULEEK— DURROW 337 

castle, though much of the bailey wall remains ; a late 
martello tower on top of motte. [B. T. S.] Fig. 45. 

DuLEEK, Meath (the castrum Duvelescense of 
GiralduSy v., 313). — Probably first built by Hugh de 
Lacy; restored by Raymond le Gros in 1173. The 
motte is destroyed, but an old weaver living in the 
village in 1906 says that it existed in the time of his 
father, who used to roll stones down it in his youth. It 
was in the angle between two streams, and there is still 
a slight trace of it. No stone castle. [B. T. S.] 

DuNAMASE, Queen's Co. (Dumath, Cal., i., 100). — 
First mentioned in 1215 as a castle of William 
Marshall's, which makes it not unlikely that it was 
originally built by Strongbow. The plan of this castle 
is the motte-and-bailey plan, but the place of the motte 
is taken by a natural rock, isolated by a ditch. There 
are three baileys, descending the hill. The stone keep 
on the summit is of the 15th or i6th century. [B. T. S.] 

DuNGARVAN, Waterford {CaL, i., 89). — Granted to 
Thomas Fitz Antony in 1215. To the west of the town 
is a motte called Gallowshill ; it has no bailey, but some 
trace of a circumvallation. The castle east of the river 
is not earlier than the 14th or 15th century. [B. T. S.] 

^DuRROW, King's Co. [Gir., v., z'^j). — A castle of 
Hugh de Lacy's ; he was murdered while he was build- 
ing it, because he had chosen the enclosure of the 
church for his bailey.^ A plan in Journ. R. S. A. /., 
xxix., 227, shows clearly the motte and bailey, though 
the writer mistakes for separate mounds what are clearly 
broken portions of the vallum. It is possible that the 
bailey may have followed the line of the ancient rath of 
the church, but it would almost certainly be a much 
stronger affair. 

^ Annals of Ulster^ 1 186. 

y 



338 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

'^Favorie = Fore, Westmeath. — I owe this identi- 
fication to Mr Orpen. As Hugh de Lacy founded or 
endowed the monastery at Fore/ this was probably one 
of his castles, but the first mention is in 1215 
(Cal., i., 95). Mr Westropp mentions the oval motte 
of Fore with its bailey in his list of "complex motes." ^ 

Ferns, Wexford (Gir., v., 326). — A castle was built 
by Walter the German near Ferns. Ferns is spoken of 
as a city in the time of King Dermot. There is no 
motte at Ferns ; the stone castle has a keep, which is 
certainly not earlier than the time of Henry III. 
[B. T. S.] 

^FoTHERET Onolan, castle of Raymond le Gros 
(Gir,, v., 355). — Mr Orpen identifies this with Castle- 
more, near Tullow, Co. Carlow. There is an oval 
motte, and a rectangular bailey with indications of 
masonry.^ 

Galtrim, Meath. — Identified by Mr Orpen with the 
castle of Hugh de Hose, or Hussey, mentioned in the 
'* Song of Dermot." Destroyed in 1 1 76 ; no stone castle. 
An oval motte ; bailey indistinctly traceable. [B. T. S.] 

Geashill, King's Co. (Cal., i., 30). — Mentioned in 
1203 as a castle of William, Earl Marshall. There are 
remains of a motte, on which stands a 14th-century keep ; 
but the whole site has been so pulled about in making 
a modern house, drive, and gardens, that nothing more 
can be made of the plan. The motte, however, is plain, 
though mutilated. [E. S. A.] 

Granard, Longford (C^/., i., 95). — Built by Richard 
Tuit in 1199/ A magnificent motte, with a very wide 

1 Round, Cal. of Doc. preserved in France, i., 105, 107. 

2 " On the Ancient Forts of Ireland," Tra?ts. R. I. A., 1902. 

3 Orpen, "The Castle of Raymond le Gros at Fodredunolan," Journ. 
R. S. A. /., 1906. 

^ Annals of I nntsf alien. 



GRANARD— KII.BIXIE 339 

ditch, and a small fan-shaped bailey. Foundations of 
a shell wall round the top of the motte, and of a small 
round tower in the centre. [B. T. S.] 

^HiNCHELEDER, or Inchelefyre {CaL, i., 95). — Said 
by Butler [Notices of Trim Castle, 12) to be Inchleffer, 
Meath, a castle of Hugh de Lacy. No further infor- 
mation. 

John de Clahull's Castle. — Mr Orpen believes this 
to be Killeshin, Queen's Co., as it corresponds to the 
description in the Song, "entre Eboy et Lethelyn." 
There is a motte there, and traditions of a town. 

^Karakitel, or Carrickittle, Limerick [Cal., i., 14). 
— Castle of William de Naas in 11 99. There was a 
remarkable natural motte of rock here, with the founda- 
tions of a castle upon it, now destroyed.^ 

^^KiLLAMLUN {Cal., i., 53). — Identified by Mr Orpen 
with Killallon, Meath, where there is a large motte. 
There is a stone passage into this motte, but no 
evidence has been brought forward to prove that it is 
of the same nature as the prehistoric souterrains so 
common in Ireland.^ In England there is a remarkable 
instance at Oxford of a well-chamber built inside a 
motte. 

KiLLARE, Westmeath (6^e>., v., 356). — A castle of 
Hugh de Lacy, built in 1184;^ burnt in 11 87. A good 
motte, with ditch and well-preserved bank on counter- 
scarp ; no bailey. No stone castle. [B. T. S.] 

KiLBixiE, Westmeath. — Identified by Mr Orpen 

* Orpen, Eng. Hist, Rev., xxii., 449. 

■^ " On some Caves in the Slieve na Cailliagh District,'' by E. C. 
Rotheram, Proc. R. I. A., 3rd ser., vol. iii. Mr Rotheram remarks that 
the passages in the motte of Killallon, and that of Moat near Oldcastle, 
seem as if they were not built by the same people as those who constructed 
the passages at Slieve na Cailliagh. 

^ Annals of Ulster. 



340 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

with Kelbery, given to Geoffrey de Constantin 
{Song, 3154); the castle is mentioned in a charter of 
Walter de Lacy, as well as in the Annals of Lock Ce, \ 
which state that it was built in 1192. A motte, with a 
broad ditch, and no bailey ; but on the W. side the 
counterscarp bank of the ditch widens out into a sort of 
narrow half-moon terrace. This peculiarity may be 
noted in several other Irish castles. Foundations of an 
oblong shell on top of motte, and of a small square 
tower in the centre of this ward. [B. T. S.J 

"^KiLFEAKLE, Tipperary {CaL, i., 29). — A castle of 
William de Burgh. Built in 1193.^ A motte and 
bailey ; trace of a stone wing wall down the motte." 

^KiLMEHAL (C^/., i., 44). — Mr Orpen regards the 
identification of this castle with Kilmallock as extremely 
doubtful. 

^KiLMORE (CaL, i., 95). — Restored to Walter de 
Lacy in 1215. Identified with Kilmore, near Lough 
Oughter, Cavan.^ Mr Westropp mentions the motte 
at this place, which is outside the Anglo-Norman area. 
The castle was wrecked in 1225 or 1226, and no more is 
heard of it. The Anglo-Norman advance in this 
direction failed. 

^KiLSANTAN, Londonderry (C^/., i., 70). — Built by 
John de Courcy in 1197.* Now called Kilsandal, or 
Mount Sandal, a large motte on the Bann, not far from 
Coleraine. The castle of Coleraine, inside the town, 
was built in 12 14, apparently of stone,^ and probably 
superseded the castle of Kilsandal. 

KiLTiNAN, Tipperary (CaL, i., 94). — Castle of Philip 
of Worcester in 1215. No motte; a headland castle 

1 Annals of Loch Ce. 

2 Orpen, Eng. Hist. Rev., xxii., 448. ^ Ibid., p. 242. . 
* Annals of Ulster. See Orpen, Eng. Hist. Rev.^ xxii., 443. 

^ Annals of Ulster. 



KILTINAN— LEIGHLIN 341 

overhanging a river valley. The castle has not only- 
undergone a late Edwardian transformation, but has 
been cut up to make a modern mansion and farm 
buildings. No fosses or earthworks remain. [E. S. A.] 

Knock, or Castleknock, Dublin (Cal.y i., 8i). — 
Castle of Hugh Tyrrel. An oval motte, walled round 
the top, carrying on its edge a smaller motte (with traces 
of a ditch) on which stand the ruins of an octagonal 
keep. No other bailey ; ditch and bank double for more 
than half the circumference. [B. T. S.] Fig. 45. 

"^Knockgraffan, Tipperary (C^/., i., 27). — Castle of 
William de Braose in 1202. One of the finest mottes to 
be seen anywhere. Built in 1192, at the same time as 
the castle of Kilfeakle.^ The motte is 55 feet high, has 
a wide ditch and high counterscarp bank, which is also 
carried round the ditch of the *' hatchet-shaped " bailey, 
in proper Norman fashion. *' There are indications of a 
rectangular stone building on the flat summit of the 
mote, and there are extensive stone foundations in the 
bailey."^ 

^Lagelachon (C^/., i., 95). — Probably Loughan or 
Castlekieran, in which parish is the great motte of 
Derver.^ 

Lea, Queen's Co. {CaL, i., 30). — Castle of William, 
Earl Marshall, in 1203. A motte with two baileys; 
motte entirely occupied, and partly mutilated by a 
13th-century keep, with two large roundels. [B. T. S.] 

Leighlin, Carlow. — Mr Orpen has shown that the 
fine motte of Ballyknockan answers to the description 

^ Annals of the Four Masters^ vol. iii. See Orptn, Jojirn. R. S. A. /., 
vol. xxxix., 1909. 

^ Orpen, Eng. Hist. Rev.^ xxii., 448. A place called Graffan is 
mentioned in the Book of Rights^ and on the strength of this mere mention 
it has been argued that the motte is a prehistoric work. Trans. R. I. A.^ 
vol. xxxi., 1902. 3 jyjj. Orpen. 



342 MOITE CASTLES IN IRELAND 

given by Giraldus of the site of the castle of Lechlin 
built by Hugh de Lacy.-^ There is a trace of a possible 
bailey. The stone castle called Black Castle at 
Leighlin Bridge is of very late date. Those who 
believe that we have authentic history of Ireland in the 
3rd century B.C. will be able to believe with Dr Joyce 
that the description of the annalists identifies this motte 
with the site of the ancient palace of Dinn Righ, burnt 
by the chieftain Maen at that date ! [B. T. S.] 

LiSMORE, Waterford [Gir., i., 386). — About a quarter 
of a mile from Lismore, above a ford of the river, is an 
excellent specimen of a Norman motte and bailey, called 
the Round Hill. The name of the prehistoric fort of 
Dunsginne has lately been applied to it, but purely by 
guesswork.^ The Song says that Henry H. intended 
to build a castle at Lismore, and that it knows not why 
he put it off. Possibly he may have placed these earth- 
works here, and never added the wooden castle, or else 
this is the site of the castle which was built by his son 
John in 1185. The castle inside the town is certainly 
later than the time of John, as although much modern- 
ised it is clearly Edwardian in plan. The Norman 
fragments incorporated in the walls probably belonged to 
the abbey of St Carthagh, on the site of which the 
town castle is said to have been built. The so-called 
King John's Tower is only a mural tower, not a keep. 
[B. T. S.] 

"^ Louth, or Luveth {CaL, i., 30). — A royal castle in 
1204, but it must have been in existence as early as 
1 196, when the town and castle of Louth were burnt by 

^ Giraldus' words are : " Castrum Lechlinias, super nobilem Beruce 
fluvium, a latere Ossirige, trans Odronam in loco natura munito." V., 352. 
See Eng. Hist. Rev., xxii., 245. 

2 See Orpen, Eng. Hist. Rev.^ xxii., 456, and Journ. R. S. A. /., 
xxxvii., 140. 



LOUTH— NAAS 343 

Niall MacMahon.^ This was probably the ''Fairy- 
Mount " at Louth, of which a plan is given in Wright's 
Louthiana. This plan shows "the old town trench," 
starting from opposite sides of the motte, so that the 
castle stood on the line of the town banks. The motte 
was ditched and banked round, but the plan does not 
show any bailey or any entrance. 

^LosKE (CaL, i., 30). — Mr Orpen has pointed out to 
the writer that this cannot be Lusk, which was a castle 
of the Archbishop of Dublin, while Loske belonged to 
Theobald Walter, and is not yet identified. 

"^LoxHiNDY (CaL, i., 95). — Mr Orpen identifies this 
name with Loughsendy, or Ballymore Loughsendy, 
Westmeath, where there is a motte.^ 

Naas, Kildare [Gir., v., 100). — The dun of Naas is 
mentioned in the Book of Rights, p. 251, and in the 
Tripartite Life of St Patrick. By the Difidsenchas it 
is attributed to the lengendary Princess Tuiltinn in 277 
A.D. On this ''evidence" the motte at Naas has been 
classed as prehistoric. But as we have seen, a dun does 
not mean a motte, or even a hill, but an enclosure. 
Naas was part of the share which fell to the famous 
Anglo-Norman leader, Maurice FitzGerald, and the 
earthworks are quite of the Norman pattern;^ a good 
motte, ditched and banked, with trace of a small bailey 
attached. The terrace round the flank of the motte 
may be no older than the modern buildings on the 
summit.^ [B. T. S.] 

^ Orpen, "Motes and Norman Castles in County Louth," Journ. 
R. S. A. /., xxxviii., 241, from which paper the notice above is largely 
taken. 2 Eng. Hist. Rev., xxii., 242. 

The castle is casually mentioned by Giraldus, v., 100, and the date of 
its erection is not given. 

■* As far as the writer's experience goes, terraces are only found on 
mottes which have at some time been incorporated in private gardens or 
grounds. 



344 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

Navan, Meath.^ — The Song says Navan was given 
to Jocelin de Nangle, and it is known that the castle of 
the Nangles was at Navan. A lofty motte, with a very 
small semilunar platform below, formed by broadening 
out a part of the counterscarp bank of the ditch. 
(Compare Kilbixie.) [B. T. S.] 

NoBBER, Meath [Cal., i., 104). — A castle of Hugh 
de Lacy. A motte, with traces of a breastwork round 
the top, and wing banks running down to what remains 
of the bailey on the S. Two curious little terraces on 
the N. side of the motte. No masonry. [B. T. S.] 

Rath' [Cal., i., 95). — This castle, evidently one of 
the most important in Ulster, but hitherto unidentified, 
has been shown by Mr Orpen to be the famous castle 
of Dundrum, Down.^ This castle is situated on a 
natural motte of rock, no doubt scarped by art, with 
a deep ditch cut through the rock, and a bailey 
attached. The top of the motte contains a small 
ward fortified in stone, and a round keep. It is 
very doubtful whether this keep is as old as the time 
of John de Courcy, to whom the castle is popularly 
attributed ; for the round keep without buttresses hardly 
appears in England before the reign of Henry III. 
[E. S. A.] 

Rathwire, Meath. — Rathwire was the portion of 
Robert de Lacy {Song, 3150), and a castle was built 
here by Hugh de Lacy.^ There is a motte and bailey, 
with considerable remains of foundations in the bailey, 
and one wing bank going up the motte. [B. T. S.] 

^Ratouth, Meath, now Ratoath [CaL, i., no). — A 
castle of Hugh de Lacy. There is ''a conspicuous 
mount " near the church, about which there is a legend 

^ Journ. R. S. A. /., vol. xxxix., 1909. 

2 Piers, Collect, de Rebus Hib., cited by Orpen. 



ROKEREL— SLANE 345 

that Malachy, first king of all Ireland, held a convention 
of states (Lewis). It is marked in the map. 

^RoKEREL (C^/., i., 8i). — Unidentified. 

RoscREA, Tipperary (Ca/., i., Si). — A motte and 
bretasche were built here in King John's reign, as is 
recorded in an inquisition of 29 Henry III. (Ca/., i., 412). 
There is no motte now at Roscrea, but an Edwardian 
castle with mural towers and no keep ; a 14th-century 
gatehouse tower. Here we have a proved instance of 
a motte completely swept away by an Edwardian trans- 
formation.^ [E. S. A.] 

Skreen, Meath. — Giraldus mentions the castle of 
Adam de Futepoi, and as Skreen was his barony, his 
castle must have been at Skreen. In the grounds of 
the modern castellated house at Skreen there is a motte, 
1 1 feet high (probably lowered), with a terrace round its 
flank ; some slight traces of a bailey. [B. T. S.] 

Slane, Meath. — The Song- relates the erection of a 
motte by Richard the Fleming: " un mot fist cil jeter 
pur ses enemis grever." ^ It also tells of its destruction 
by the Irish, but does not give its name, which is 
supplied by the Amials of Ulster. Probably Richard 
the Fleming restored his motte after its destruction, for 
there is still a motte on the hill of Slane, with a large 
annular bailey,^ quite large enough for the '' 100 
foreigners, besides women and children and horses," who 
were in it when it was taken. The motte has still a 
slight breastwork round the top. The modern castle of 

^ Mr Orpen says : "The castle was 'constructed anew' in the sixth and 
seventh years of Edward I., when ^^700 was expended." hHsh Pipe Rolls^ 
8 Edward I., cited in Eng. Hist. Rev.^ xxii., 454. 

'^ Line 3178. 

^ The annular bailey, with the motte in the centre, is a most unusual 
arrangement, and certainly suggests the idea that the motte was placed in 
an existing Irish rath. 



346 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

the Marquis of Conyngham, below, incorporates half a 
round tower of 13th-century work, belonging no doubt 
to the stone castle which succeeded the motte.^ [B. T. S.] 

Thurles, Tipperary (Dories, Cat., i., 81). — A castle 
of Theobald Walter. Thurles Castle has a late keep 
with trefoil windows, and according to Grose was built 
by the Earl of Ormond in 1328. From information on the 
spot it appears that there used to be a motte in the 
gardens behind the castle ; mentioned also by Lewis. 
[B. T. S.] 

TiBRAGHNY, or TiPPERAGHNY, Kilkenny ((7/r., I., 386 ; 
CaL, i., 19). — Granted to William de Burgh in 1200; 
built by John in 1185.^ A motte, with ditch and bank, 
and some trace of a half-moon bailey to the north. 
About 200 yards away is the stone castle, a late keep 
with ogee windows. [B. T. S.] 

TiMAHOE, Queen's Co. (Gir., i., 356). — Built by Hugh 
de Lacy for Meiler Fitz Henry. A motte, called the 
Rath of Ballynaclogh, half a mile west of the village. 
The bailey, the banks and ditches of which seem remark- 
ably well preserved, is almost circular, but the motte 
is placed at its edge, not concentrically. There are 
wing-banks running up the motte. Near it are the ruins 
of a stone castle built in Elizabeth's reign (Grose). 
[B. T. S.] 

Trim, Meath. — The So7ig tells of the erection of this 
castle by Hugh de Lacy, and how in his absence the 
meysun (the keep — doubtless wooden) was burnt by the 
Irish, and the mot levelled with the ground. This 
express evidence that the first castle at Trim had a 
motte is of great value, because there is no motte there 
now. The castle was restored by Raymond le Gros,^ 

1 See Appendix M. ^ Annals of Loch Ce. 

^ Giraldus^ v., 313. 



TRISTERDERMGT— WATERFORD 347 

but so quickly that the present remarkable keep can 
hardly have been built at that date.^ [B. T. S.] 

"^Tristerdermot (Gir., v., 356). — Castle of Walter 
de Riddlesford. Tristerdermot is now Castledermot ; 
there used to be a rath of some kind here close to the 
town. But Mr Orpen inclines to believe that the castle 
Giraldus alludes to was at Kilkea, another manor of De 
Riddlesford's, where there is a motte, near the modern 
castle. " In the early English versions of the Expiig- 
natio Kilcae is put instead of Tristerdermot as the place 
where Walter de Riddlesford's castle was built." ^ 

"^^Typermesan (C^/., i., no). — Mr Orpen writes that 
this name occurs again in a list of churches in the 
deanery of Fore, which includes all the parish names in 
the half barony of Fore, except Oldcastle and Killeagh. 
He suspects that Typermesan is now known as Oldcastle, 
" where there is a remarkably well-preserved motte and 
raised bailey."^ 

Waterford {CaL, i., 89). — We are not told whether 
Strongbow built a castle here when he took the town 
from the Ostmen in 11 70. The castle is not mentioned 
till 1 215, when it was granted by John to Thomas Fitz- 
I Antony. Waterford was a walled town in 11 70, and 
had a tower called Reginald's Tower, which seems to 
have been the residence of the two Danish chieftains, 
as they were taken prisoners there. Here too, Henry 
H. imprisoned Fitz Stephen.^ It is possible that this 
tower, as Mr Orpen supposes,^ may have been considered 
as the castle of Waterford. But the existing " Ring 

^ This keep has a square turret on each of its faces instead of at the 
angles. A similar plan is found at Warkworth, and Castle Rushen, Isle of 
Man. 

'^ Orpen, Eng. Hist. Rev., xxii., 248. 

^ Figured in The To7nb of Ollarnh Fodhla^ by E. A. Conwell, 1873. 

■* G"/r., i., 255, 277. •'' Eng. Hist. Rcv.^ xxii., 457. 



348 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

tower" on the line of the walls, which is sometimes 
called Reginald's Tower, is certainly a round mural tower 
of the 13th century ; there are others of similar masonry 
on the walls. [B. T. S.] 

"* Wexford ((S^^'r., v., 314). — Probably built by Maurice 
Prendergast ; first mentioned when taken from his sons 
in 1 1 76. Mr Orpen writes: *' The site of Wexford 
Castle is an artificial mound. Two of the scarped sides 
still remain, and the other two are built up above streets. 
When recently laying some drainpipes, the workmen 
came upon no rock, but only made earth." 

WiCKLOW (Gir., i., 298). — Existing when Henry II. 
left Ireland in 1173; he gave it to Strongbow. The 
Black Castle at Wicklow is a headland castle ; it 
preserves the motte-and-bailey plan, though there is no 
motte, as there is a small triangular inner ward (about 
thirty paces each side) several feet higher than the outer 
bailey, from which it is separated by a very deep ditch 
cut through the rock. [B. T. S.] 

We have here a list of seventy-two castles mentioned 
in the contemporary history of the Norman invasion. 
If the list is reduced by omitting Aq'i, Kilmehal, Loske, 
Rokerel, and Incheleder, which are not yet identified, 
and five castles of which the identification may be con- 
sidered doubtful, Caherconlish, Croom, Clahull's Castle, 
Lagelachan, and Typermesan, sixty-two castles are left, 
and out of these sixty-two, fifty-two have or had mottes.^ 
In five cases the place of the motte is taken by a natural 
rock, helped by art ; but as the idea and plan are the 
same it is legitimately classed as the same type. 

This list might easily have been enlarged by the 
addition of many castles mentioned in the various Irish 
annals as having been built by the Normans. But this 
^ In five cases the mottes are now destroyed. 



LATE USE OF MOTTES 349 

would have Involved the identification of a number of 
difficult names, a labour to which the writer's limited 
knowledge of Irish topography was not equal. The 
greater number of these sites have now been identified 
by Mr Orpen, and to his papers, so frequently cited 
above, we must refer the reader who wishes to study 
the fullest form of the argument sketched in these pages. 

One can easily sympathise with the feelings of those 
who, having always looked upon these mottes as monu- 
ments of ancient Ireland, are loath to part with them to 
the Norman robber. Many of us have had similar 
feelings about the mottes of England, some of which we 
had been taught to regard as the work of that heroic 
pair, Edward the Elder and Ethelfleda. But these 
feelings evaporated when we came to realise that It 
would have been highly unpatriotic in these founders of 
the British empire to have built little castles for their 
own personal safety, instead of building cities which 
were '' to shelter all the folk," in the words of Ethelfleda's 
charter to Worcester. In like manner, wretched as were 
the intertribal wars of Ireland, it would have been a 
disgrace to the Irish chieftains If they had consulted 
solely their own defence by building these little strong- 
holds for their personal use. 

The Irish motte-castles furnish us with interesting 
proof that this type of castle was commonly used, not 
only as late as the reign of Henry II., but also in the 
reigns of his sons, Richard I. and John ;^ that is to say, 
at a time when castle-building in stone was receiving 
remarkable developments at the hands of Richard I. 
and Philip Augustus of France. This, however, need 
not surprise us, since we know that as late as 1242, 

^ The dates of the building of numbers of these castles are given in the 
A?tnals of Ulster and the Annals of Loch Ce, 



1 



350 MOTTE-CASTLES IN IRELAND 

Henry III. was building a motte and wooden castle in 
the Isle of Rhe, at the mouth of the Garonne.^ But 
those who imagfine that the Normans built stone castles 
everywhere in England, Wales, and Ireland, will have 
to reconsider their views. 

Note. — Mr Orpen's work on Ireland under the 
Normans did not appear until too late for use in this 
chapter. The reader is referred to it for a more careful 
tracing of the history and archaeology of the Norman 
settlements in Ireland. 

^ Cal. of Pat. Roils, 1232-1247. 



CHAPTER XII 

STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

It may be a surprise to some of our readers to learn 
how very few stone castles there are In England which 
can certainly be ascribed to the first period of the 
Norman Conquest, that is to the nth century. When 
we have named the Tower of London, Colchester, the 
recently excavated foundations of the remarkable keep 
at Pevensey, and perhaps the ruined keep of Bramber, 
we have completed the list, as far as our present know- 
ledge goes, though possibly future excavations may add 
a few others/ 

It is obvious that so small a number of instances 
furnishes a very slender basis for generalisations as to 
the characteristics of early Norman keeps, if we ask in 
what respect they differed from those of the 12th 
century. But it is the object of this chapter to suggest 
research, rather than to lay down conclusions. The 
four early instances mentioned should be compared with 
the earliest keeps of France, the country where the 
pattern was developed. This has not yet been done in 
any serious way, nor does the present writer pretend to 
the knowledge which would be necessary for such a 

^ The tower at Mailing was supposed to be an early Norman keep by Mr 
G. T. Clark {M. M, A., ii., 251), but it has recently been shown that it is 
purely an ecclesiastical building. 

351 



352 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

comparison.^ But data exist, which, if they were used 
in the right way, would greatly add to our knowledge. 

In the first place, we have a list of the castles built 
by Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, at the end of the loth 
and the beginning of the nth century, during his life- 
long struggle with the Counts of Blois for the possession 
of Touraine. This list may be regarded as authentic, 
as it is given by his grandson, Fulk Rechin, In the 
remarkable historical fragment which he has bequeathed 
to us.^ The list is as follows : — In Touraine : Langeais, 
Chaumont-sur- Loire, Montresor, St Maure. In Poitou : 
Mirabeau (N.W. of Poitiers), Montcontour, Faye-la- 
Vineuse, Musterolum (Montreuil-Bonnin), Passavent, 
Maulevrler. In Anjou: Bauge, Chateau-Gontier, 
Durtal. '* Et multa alia," adds Fulk's grandson. Nine 
of these others are mentioned by the chroniclers : 
Montbazon, Semblancay, Montboyau, St Florent-le- 
Vieil, Chateaufort near Langeais, Cherament, Montre- 
vault, Montfaucon, and Mateflon. Many of these were 
undoubtedly wooden castles, with wooden keeps on 
mottes.^ In many other cases the ancient fabric has 
been replaced by a building of the Renaissance period. 
Whether any remains of stone donjons built by Fulk 
Nerra exist at any of these places except at Langeais, 
the writer has been unable to find out ; probably 
Langeais is the only one ; but French archaeologists 

^ The only stone castles of early date in France which the writer has 
been able to visit are those of Lang^eais, Plessis Grimoult, Breteuil, and Le 
Mans. The two latter are too ruinous to furnish data. 

2 Given in D'Achery's Spicilegium^ iii., 232. 

2 This can be positively stated of Bauge, Montrichard, Montboyau, St 
Florent-le-Vieil, Chateaufort, and Cherament. M. de Salies thinks the 
motte of Bazonneau, about 500 metres from the ruins of the castle of 
Montbazon, is the original castle of Fulk Nerra. Hisioire de Fulk Nerra^ 
57. About the other castles the writer has not been able to obtain any 
information. 



THE KEEP OF LANGEAIS 353 

are agreed that the ruined tower which stands on the 
ridge above the 15th-century castle of Langeals Is the 
work of this count/ a venerable fragment of a 10th- 
century keep.^ 

Unfortunately only two sides of this tower and the 
foundations of the other sides remain. The walls are 
only 3 feet 6 Inches thick, contrasting strikingly with 
the castles of the 12th and 13th centuries, where the 
usual thickness Is 10 feet, which Is often exceeded. This 
points to a date before any great Improvement had taken 
place in assaultlng-machinery. The masonry is what 
French architects call petit appareil, very small stones, 
but regularly coursed. There Is no herring-bone work. 
The buttresses, of which there are five on the front, 
certainly suggest a later date, from the size of the ashlar 
with which they are faced, and from their considerable 
projection (3 feet on the entrance wall, 2 on the front). 
There Is no sign of a forebulldlng. There are only two 
storeys above the basement. The floors have been 
supported on ledges, not on vaults. The doorway, a 
plain round arch, with bar-holes. Is on the first floor ; ^ 
it is now only a few feet above the ground, but probably 
the basement has been partially filled up with rubbish. 
The first storey is quite windowless In the walls which 
remain. There are no fireplaces nor any loopholes in 
these two fragments. In the second storey there are 
three rather small windows and one very large one ; * they 
are round arched, have no splay, and their voussoirs are 



^ See Halphen, Covite d^Anjou au xiieme Sihlc^ 153, 

2 The building of Langeais was begun in 994. Chron. St Florent^ and 
Richerius^ 274. 

"^ It somewhat shakes one's confidence in De Caumont's accuracy that 
in the sketch which he gives of this keep {Abccedaire^ ii., 409) he altogether 
omits this doorway. 

* Measurements were impossible without a ladder. 

Z 



354 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

of narrow stones alternated with tiles. In these details 
they resemble the Early Romanesque, which in England 
we call Anglo-Saxon. 

The Tower of London and Colchester keep are some 
seventy or eighty years later than that of Langeais, and 
if we attempt to compare them, we must bear in mind 
that Langeais was the work of a noble who was always 
in the throes of an acute struggle with a powerful rival, 
whereas the Tower and Colchester Castle were built by 
a king who had reached a position of power and wealth 
beyond that of any neighbouring sovereign.^ Langeais 
is but a small affair compared with these other two 
keeps. The larger area,^ thicker walls, the angle towers 
with their provision of stairways, the splayed windows 
[of Colchester] the fireplaces, the chapels with round 
apses, the mural gallery [of the Tower] cannot be 
definitely pronounced to be instances of development 
unless we have other instances than Langeais to 
compare with them. De Caumont mentions Chateau 
du Pin (Calvados), Lithaire (Manche), Beaugency-sur- 
Loire, Nogent-le-Rotrou (Eure et Loire), Tour de ITslot 
(Seine et Oise), St Suzanne (Mayenne), and Tour de 
Broue (Charente Inf.), as instances of keeps of the 
nth century.^ These should be carefully examined by 
the student of castle architecture, and De Caumont's 
statements as to their date should be verified. Not 

^ It is well known that William the Conqueror left large treasures at his 

death. 

- The keep of Colchester is immensely larger than any keep in existence. 
Mr Round thinks it was probably built to defend the eastern counties 
against Danish invasions. Hist, of Colchester Castle., p. 32. Its immense 
size seems to show that it was intended for a large garrison. 

3 Cours d'Antiguite's Monu?nentales^v., 152, and Abecedazre, ii., 413-431. 
De Caumont says of the keep of Colchester, " il me parait d'une antiquite 
moins certaine que celui de Guildford, et on pourrait le croire du douzi^me 
siecle" (p. 205), a remark which considerably shakes one's confidence in his 
architectural judgment. 



KEEPS OF THE ELE\^NTH CENTURY 355 

having had the opportunity of doing this, we will only 
ask what features the keeps of Langeals, London, and 
Colchester have In common, which may serve as marks 
of an earlier date than the 12th century.^ The square 
or obloncr form and the entrance on the first floor are 
common to all three, but also to the keeps of the first 
three-quarters of the 12th century. The absence of a 
forebullding Is probably an early sign,^ and so Is the 
extensive use of tlles.^ The chapel with a round apse 
which projects externally only occurs In the keeps of 
London and Colchester, and In the ruins of Pevensey 
keep/ The absence of a plinth Is believed by Enlart to 
be an early token. ^ But Colchester has a plinth and so 
has the Tower. It is, however, very possible that in 
both cases the plinth Is a later addition; at Colchester 
it is of different stone to the rest of the building, and 
may belong to the repairs of Henry II., who was 
working on this castle In 1169; while the Tower has 
undergone so many alterations in the course of its 

^ As only the foundations of Pevensey are left, it gives little help in 
determining the character of early keeps. It had no basement entrance, 
and the forebuilding is evidently later than the keep. 

2 The Tower had once a forebuilding, which is clearly shown in Hollar's 
etching of 1646, and other ancient drawings. Mr Harold Sands, who has 
made a special study of the Tower, believes it to have been a late 12th- 
century addition. 

^ Tiles are not used in the Tower, but some of the older arches of the 
arcade on the top floor have voussoirs of rag, evidently continuing the 
tradition of tiles. Most of the arches at Colchester are headed with tiles. 

* The room supposed to be the chapel in Bamborough keep has a round 
apse, but with no external projection, being formed in the thickness of the 
wall. The keep of Pevensey has three extraordinary apse-like projections 
of solid masonry attached to its foundations. See Mr Harold Sands' 
Report of Excavations at Pevensey. 

^ " In the course of the 12th century, the base of the walls was thickened 
into a plinth, in order better to resist the battering ram.'' {Ma?iuel 
d' ArchcEologie Francaise^ ii., 463.) The keep of Pevensey has a battering 
plinth which is clearly original, and which throws doubt either on this 
theory of the plinth, or on the age of the building. 



35G STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

eight hundred years of existence that it is difficult to 
say whether the rudimentary plinth which it still 
possesses is original or not. 

Wide-jointed masonry is generally recognised by 
architectural students as a mark of the early Norman 
style. Even this is a test which may sometimes 
deceive ; certain kinds of ashlar are very liable to 
weather at the edges, and when the wall has been 
pointed at a comparatively recent period, a false appear- 
ance of wide joints is produced. Moreover, there are 
instances of wide-jointed masonry throughout the 
1 2th century. The use of rubble instead of ashlar is 
common at all dates, and depends no doubt on local 
conditions, the local provision of stone, or the affluence 
or poverty of the castle-builder. We are probably 
justified in laying down as a general rule that the 
dimensions of the ashlar stones increase as the Middle 
Ages advance. There is a gradual transition from the 
petit appareil of Fulk Nerra's castle to the large 
blocks of well-set stone which were used in the 15th 
century.^ But this law is liable to many exceptions, 
and cannot be relied upon as a test of date unless other 
signs are present. The Tower of London is built of 
Kentish rag ; Colchester keep of small cement stones 
(septaria), which whether they are re-used Roman stones 
or not, resemble very much in size the masonry of 
Langeals. It Is of course unnecessary to say to anyone 
who Is in the least acquainted with Norman architecture 
that all Norman walls of ashlar are of the core-and- 
faclng kind, an Internal and an external shell of ashlar, 
filled up with rubble ; a technique which was inherited 

^ It is well known that blocks of huge size are employed in Anglo-Saxon 
architecture, but generally only as quoins or first courses. See Baldwin 
Brown, The A^-ts in Early E7igland^ ii., 326. 



THE KEEP-AxND-BAILEY PLAN 357 

from Roman times in Gaul, but which was not followed 
by the Anglo-Saxons.' 

The presence or absence of fireplaces and chimneys 
is not a test of date. Colchester is certainly an early 
keep,^ but it is well provided with fireplaces which 
appear to be original. These fireplaces have not 
proper chimneys, but only holes in the wall a little 
above the fireplace. But this rudimentary form of 
chimney is found as late as Henry II.'s keep at Orford, 
and there is said to be documentary mention of a proper 
chimney as early as 8i6 in the monastery of St Gall.^ 
The entire absence of fireplaces is no proof of early 
date, for in Henry H.'s keep at the Peak in Derbyshire, 
the walls of which are almost perfect (except for their 
ashlar coats) there are no fireplaces at all, nor are 
there any in the 13th-century keep of Pembroke. It is 
possible that in these cases a free standing fireplace in 
the middle of the room, with a chimney carried up to the 
roof, was used. Such a fireplace is described by the poet, 
Chrestien of Troyes, but no example is known to exist. ^ 

But apart from details, if we look at the general plan 
of these four early stone castles, we shall see that it is 
exactly similar. It is the keep-and-bailey plan, the plan 
which prevailed from the loth to the 13th century, and 
was not even superseded by the introduction of the 
keepless castle in the latter century.^ The motte-and- 

1 Baldwin Brown, "Statistics of Saxon Churches," ^z^z'/^^r, Sept. 1900. 

- Mr Round gives ground for thinking that this keep was built between 
1080 and 1085. Colchester Castle^ p. 32. ^ Piper's Burgenkiuide^ p. 85. 

■* Schulz, Das Hofische Leben zur Zeit der Mi fine singer^ i., 59. Grose 
writes of Bamborough Castle : "The only fireplace in it was a grate in the 
middle of a large room, where some stones in the middle of the floor are 
burned red." He gives no authority. Antiquities of England and IVa/es, 
iv., 57. 

^ "The type of castle created in the loth century persisted till the 
Renascence."' Enlart, Manuel d^Archceologie^ ii., 516. 



358 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

bailey type was of course only another version of the 
keep-and-bailey. In this primitive type of castle the 
all-important thing was the keep or donjon.^ Besides 
the donjon there was little else but a rampart and ditch. 
''Until the middle of the 12th century, and in the 
simpler examples of the epochs which followed, the 
donjon may be said to constitute in itself the whole 
castle."^ Piper states that up to the time of the 
Crusades German castles do not seem to have been 
furnished with mural towers.^ Kohler, whose work 
treats of French and English castles as well as 
German, says that mural towers did not become 
general till the second half of the 12th century/ 
Nevertheless, as it is highly probable that the 
baileys of castles were defended at first with only 
w^ooden ramparts on earthen banks, even when the 
donjon was of stone, it is not unlikely that mural 
towers of wood may have existed at an earlier 
period than these writers suppose. It is, however, 
in favour of the general absence of mural towers 
that the word turris, even in 12th-century records, 
invariably means the keep, as though no other towers 
existed.^ 

That the baileys of some of the most important 
castles in England had only these wooden and earthen 
defences, even as late as the 13th century, can be amply 

1 See Appendix N. 

- Enlartj Manuel d'Archceologie, ii., 516. "Jusqu' au milieu du xii'enie 
siecle, et dans les examples les plus simples des epoques qui suivent, le 
donjon est bien pres de constituer a lui seal tout le chateau." 

^ Abriss der Burgenkunde, 50-60. 

^ Entwickelung des Kriegswesen, iii., 352 and 428. No continental 
writers are entirely to be trusted about English castles ; they generally get 
their information from Clark, and it is generally wrong. 

•5 This of course explains why the castle of London is always called The 
Tower J it was originally the only tower in the fortress. 



ARRANGEMENTS IN STONE KEEPS 3o9 

proved from the Close Rolls} Colchester Castle had 
only a timber wall on the banks of its bailey as late as 
1215, and in 12 19 ih.\s palicium was blown down and an 
order issued for its reconstruction.^ 

The arrangements in the stone donjons were probably 
the same as those we have already described when 
writing of the wooden ones.^ The basement was 
the storehouse for provisions/ the first floor was 
generally the guardhouse, the second the habitation, 
of the lord and lady. Where there were three or four 
storeys, the arrangements varied, and the finest rooms 
are often found on the third floor. An oratory was 
probably an invariable feature, though it cannot always 
be detected in ruined keeps. One of Mr Clark's most 
pronounced mistakes was his idea that these keeps were 
merely towers of refuge used only in time of war."" 
History abounds with evidence that they were the 
permanent residences of the nobles of the nth and 
1 2th centuries. The cooking, as a rule, was carried on 
in a separate building, of which there are remains in 
some places.^ 

Occasionally we find a variant of the keep-and-bailey 
type, which we may call the gatehouse keep. The most 

• The Close Rolls menUon palz'a'a or stockades at the castles of Norwich, 
York, Devizes, Oxford, Sarum, Fotheringay, Hereford, Mountsorel, and 
Dover. 

2 Close Rolls, i., 195a and 389. 

^ See Chapter VI., p. 89, and Appendix O. 

'* Piper states that the evidence of remains proves that the lower storey 
was a prison. But these remains probably belong to a later date, when the 
donjon had been abandoned as a residence, and was becoming the dungeon 
to which prisoners were committed. The top storey of the keep was often 
used in early times as a prison for important offenders, such as Conan of 
Rouen, William, the brother of Duke Richard II., and Ranulf Flambard. 

'^ See Appendix P. 

^ At Conisburgh and Orford castles there are ovens on the roofs, 
showing that the cooking was carried on there ; these are keeps of Henry 
II.'s time. 



360 STONE CASTLES OF THE xNORMAN PERIOD 

remarkable instance of this kind in England is Exeter, 
which appears never to have had any keep but the 
primitive gatehouse, undoubtedly the work of Baldwin 
de Moeles, the first builder of the castle. In Nor- 
mandy, De Caumont gives several instances of gate- 
house keeps. Plessls-Grimoult (which has been visited 
by the writer) has a fragment of a gatehouse tower, 
but has also a mural tower on the line of the walls ; 
as the castle was ruined and abandoned in 1047, these 
remains must be of early date.^ The gatehouse 
keep is probably an economical device for combining 
a citadel with the defence of the weakest part of the 
castle. 

We must pass on to the keeps of Henry I.^ There 
is only one in England which authentic history gives to 
his time, that of Rochester.^ But the chronicler Robert 
de Torigny * has fortunately given us a list of the keeps 
and castles built by Henry in Normandy, and though 
many of these are now destroyed, and others in ruins, a 
certain number are left, which, taken along with 
Rochester, may give us an idea of the type of keep 
built in Henry I.'s time. The keeps attributed by 
Robert to Henry I. are Arques, Gisors, Falaise, 

^ De Caumont says these remains are on a motte, a strange statement, 
as they are only a foot or two above the surrounding level. 

2 No stone castles in England are known to have been built by William 
Rufus ; he built Carlisle Castle, but probably only in wood. As we have 
seen, several Welsh castles were built in his time, but all in earth and 
timber. 

^ Built by Archbishop William of Corbeuil. Geruase of Canterbury^ 
R. S., ii., 382. 

^ Robert de Torigny, also called Robert de Monte, was Abbot of Mont 
St Michael during the lifetime of Henry II., and was a favoured courtier 
whose means of obtaining information were specially good. French writers 
are in the habit of discounting his statements, because they do not recognise 
the almost universal precedence of a wooden castle to the stone building, 
which when it is recognised, completely alters the perspective of castle 
dates. See Appendix Q. 



KEEPS OF HENRY I. 361 

Argentan, Exmes, Domfront, Ambrleres, Vire, Waure, 
Vernon, Evreux, Alengon, St Jean, and Coutances. 
How many of these survive we cannot positively say ; ^ 
we can only speak of those we have seen (Falaise, 
Domfront, and Gisors),^ and of Arques, described by 
M. Deville in his Histoire du Chateatt cT Arques, by 
M. Viollet le Due in his treatise on Donjons,^ and by 
Mr G. T. Clark/ 

Speaking under correction, as a prolonged study of 
the keeps in Normandy was impossible to the writer, we 
should say that there is no very striking difference to be 
observed between the keeps of Henry I. and those built 
by his father. The development of the forebuilding 
seems to be the most important change, if indeed we 
are justified in assuming that the 11th-century keeps 
never had it ; its remains can be seen at Arques, 
Falaise,^ Domfront, and Rochester. At Arques and 
Falaise the doorway is on the second floor, which is an 
innovation, a new attempt to solve the difficulty of 
defending the entrance. The first floor at Arques could 

^ The keep of Caen, which was square, was demoHshed in 1793. De 
Caumont, Cours <£ Antiquitcs^ v., 231. The keep of Alengon is also 
destroyed. There are fragments of castles at Argentan, Exmes, and St 
Jean-le-Thomas. The keep of Vernon or Vernonnet is embedded in a 
factory. Guide Joanne^ p. 6. 

2 The writer has also visited Vire and Le Mans, but even if the walls of 
the keep of Vire, of which only two sides remain, were the work of Henry I., 
the details, such as the corbelled lintel, the window benches, and the loop 
in the basement for a crossbow, point to a later period. At Le Mans, to 
the north of the cathedral, is a fragment of an ancient tower, built of the 
rudest rubble, with small quoins of ashlar ; this may be the keep built by 
William L, which Wace says was of stone and lime (p. 234, Andresen's 
edition). It is difficult to examine, being built up with cottages. Dom- 
front, like Langeais, is only a fragment, consisting of two walls and some 
foundations. 

2 Dictionnaire de V Architecture. ■* M. M. A., i., 186. 

'' In speaking of Falaise, of course we only mean the great square keep, 
and not the Little Donjon attached to it at a later period, nor the fine round 
keep added by Talbot in the 15th century. 



362 STONK CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

only be entered by a trap from the second floor ; at 
Falaise there is a stone stair from one to the other. 
Rochester Is entered from the first floor. The basement 
storeys of Arques, Falaise, and Domfront are quite 
unlit ; at the Tower the basement has had a number 
of loopholes, and the angular heads of those which 
remain suggest that they are at least copied from 
original lights. The main floors In Henry I.'s 
keeps are always of wood, but this was not because 
vaulting was then unknown, because the crypt, sub- 
crypt, and chapel of the Tower are vaulted, not to 
speak of many early churches.^ The four keeps 
mentioned have all three storeys, thus not exceeding 
Colchester In height ; ^ the Tower has now four 
storeys, but a good authority has remarked that the 
fourth storey has not Improbably been made by dividing 
the third. 

No marked advance Is observable In the masonry 
of these keeps. Arques is built of petit appareil ; 
Falaise of small stones In herring-bone work ; Domfront 
of very small stones rudely coursed ; Rochester of Kentish 
rag mixed with flint rubble. Both Falaise and Dom- 
front have plinths of superior masonry, but there Is 
always the possibility that these plinths are later 
additions. The voussoirs of the arches at Falaise, 
Domfront, and Rochester are larger than the rag or 
tile voussoirs which are used at Colchester, the Tower, 
and Langeals. At Rochester and Arques provision Is 
made for carrying the water-supply from the well in the 

^ Small spaces, such as the chapel, passages, and mural chambers, are 
vaulted in most keeps. 

2 Colchester keep has only two storeys now, but Mr Round argues that 
it must have had three, as a stairway leads upward from the second floor, 
in the N.W. tower, and some fragments of window cases remain as evidence. 
Colchester Castle, p. 92. 



KEEPS OF HENRY I. 363 

basement to the upper floors, a provision of which there 
is no trace in the older keeps.^ 

As Robert de Monte says that Henry I. built many 
castles in England as well as in Normandy, we naturally 
ask what other English keeps besides Rochester may 
be assigned to him. It appears to the writer that 
Corfe and Norwich keeps may very likely be his. 
Both were royal castles in his time, and both were 
originally wooden castles on mottes.' Both these 
castles have forebuildings, and neither of them have 
floors supported on vaults.^ Corfe has very superior 
masonry, of larger stones than those used in the keeps 
know^n to be Henry I.'s, but wide-jointed. At Norwich 
only a very small piece of the original ashlar is left. 
Corfe is extremely severe in all its details, but quite 
corresponds to work of Henry I.'s reign. "^ Norwich 
has a great deal of decoration, more advanced in 
style than that to be seen at Falaise, but still con- 
sistent with the first half of the 12th century. 
Neither keep has the least sign of Transition 
Norman, such as we seldom fail to find in the keeps 
of Henry II. Moreover, neither of them figure in 
the Pipe Rolls of Henry II., except for repairs; 

^ The Tower and Colchester keep both have wells, which are seldom 
wanting in any keep. There was no appearance of a well at Langeais, but 
excavation might possibly reveal one. 

2 The first castle at Corfe was built by William's half-brother, Robert, 
Count of Mortain. The keep of Corfe is sometimes attributed to him, but 
when we compare its masonry with that of the early hall or chapel in the 
middle bailey, we shall see that this date is most unlikely. Norwich was 
always a royal castle. 

^ Part of the basement of Norwich keep has pillars, from which it has 
been assumed that it was vaulted ; but no trace of vaulting is to be seen. 

■* The only decoration at Corfe keep is in the oratory, which being at a 
vast height in one of the ruined walls is inaccessible to the ordinary visitor. 
Corfe was so much pulled about by Sir Christopher Hatton in Elizabeth's 
reign, and is now so ruinous, that many features are obscure. Norwich has 
suffered greatly from restorations, and from re-casing. 



364 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN TERIOD 

and as Stephen in his harassed reign can hardly 
have had any money for building stone keeps, we 
may with some confidence ascribe these two keeps to 
Henrv I. 

A few words should be given to the castle of Gisors, 
which contains in itself an epitome of castle history. 
The first castle, built by William Rufus in 1096, was 
undoubtedly a wooden castle on a motte, with a 
stockaded bailey below it ; certain portions of the 
present bailey walls rest on earthen banks, which 
probably belonged to the original castle, and show what 
a much smaller affair it was than the present one. 
Henry I., Robert de Monte tells us, strengthened this 
castle with a keep. Probably this was the shell wall 
which now crowns the motte ; the smallness of the 
masonry (stones about 5 inches high, rudely dressed 
and coursed) and the slight projection of the buttresses 
(9 inches) agree with much of the work of his time. 
There would be a wooden tower inside.^ The chemise 
or shell wall is pierced by loopholes, a very unusual 
arrangement ; they are round arched, and of very rude 
voussoirs.^ Inside this shell there is a decagonal 
tower, called the Tower of Thomas a Becket, which 
is almost certainly the work of Henry H.,^ as 
its name would indicate ; the chapel of St Thomas 

1 In 1 184 Henry II. paid "for re-roofing the tower of Gisors." Rotuli 
Scacc. Norvia7inicE ^ i., 72. 

2 It should be remembered that rude work is not invariably a sign of 
age ; it may only show haste, or poverty of resources. It should also be 
mentioned that in the Exchequer Rolls of Nomiandy there is an entry of 
/!65o in 1 184 for several works at Gisors, including "the wall round the 
motte '' (murum circa motam). Possibly this may refer to a wall round the 
foot of the motte, which seems still to exist. The shell wall of Gisors should 
be compared with that of Lincoln, which is probably of the first half of the 
1 2th century. 

3 No decagonal tower of Henry I.'s work is known to exist ; all his 
tower keeps are square. 



THE KEEP OF CARLISLE 365 

IS close to it. A stair turret of the 15th century 
has been added to this keep ; its original entrance 
was, as usual, a door on the first floor, but a base- 
ment entrance was built afterwards, probably in the 
13th century. Philip Augustus, after he had taken 
this castle from John, added to it one of the round 
keeps which had then become the fashion, and sub- 
sequent enlargements of the bailey converted it into 
a ''concentric" castle, of which the motte now forms the 
centre. 

There is one keep which is known to be of the 
reign of Stephen, though not built by him, that of 
Carlisle, built by David, King of Scotland, in 1136,^ 
a time when he thought his hold on the four northern 
counties of England was secure, little reckoning on 
the true character of his great-nephew, Henry, son 
of Matilda. There is no advance to be seen in this 
keep on those of Henry L, except that the walls 
are faced with ashlar. The vaultinor of the basement 
is pronounced by Mr Clark to be very evidently a late 
insertion.^ 

With the reign of Henry H. a new era opens as 
regards the documentary history of our ancient castles, 
because the Pipe Rolls of that king's reign have most 
fortunately been preserved.^ These contain the sheriff's 
accounts for money spent on the building or repair of 
the king's castles, and are simply invaluable for the 
history of castle architecture. The following is a list of 

^ Bower, Scotichronicon^ v., 42. This passage was first pointed out by 
Mr George Neilson in Notes and Queries^ 8th ser., viii,, 321. The keep of 
Carlisle has been so much pulled about as to obscure most of its features. 
The present entrance to the basement is not original. 

2 M. M. A., i., 353. 

^ Unfortunately the greater part of these valuable Rolls is still un- 
published. The Pipe Roll Society is issuing a volume every year, and this 
year (1910) has reached the 28th Henry II. 



366 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

the keeps which the Pipe Rolls show to have been built 
or finished by Henry II. : — 



Scarborough, 


built 1 


Detwee 


n 1157 ar 


id 1 1 74. 


Tower 


Windsor, 






1161 , 


, 1 177. 


Shell wall 


Orford, 






1165 , 


, 1 172. 


Tower 


Bridgenorth, 






1 166 , 


, 1173. 


Tower 


Newcastle, 






1167 , 


, 1177. 


Tower 


Bowes, 






1171 , 


, 1187. 


Tower 


Richmond, 






1171 , 


, 1 174. 


Tower 


Chilham, 






1171 , 


, II73- 


Tower 


Peak, 






1172 , 


, 1 176. 


Tower 


Canterbury, 






1172 , 


, 1 174. 


Tower 


Arundel, 






1176 , 


, 1 182. 


Shell wall 


Tickhill, 






1178 , 


, 1181. 


Tower 



The dates given here must be taken as only roughly 
accurate, as owing to the meagreness of the entries in 
the Pipe Rolls, it is not always certain whether the 
expenses were for the great tower or for other buildings. 
The list by no means includes all the work which Henry 
II. did on his English castles, for he was a great builder ; 
but a good deal of his work seems to have been the 
substitution of stone walls with mural towers, for wooden 
stockades, and our list comprises all the cases in which 
it is clear that the keep was the work of this king.^ We 
confine our attention to the keeps, because though mural 
towers of stone began to be added to the walls of baileys 
during Henry II. 's reign (a detail which must have 
greatly altered the general appearance of castles), it is 
certain that the keep was still the most important part, 
and the residence of the king or noble whenever he 
visited the castle. 

Seven out of the ten tower keeps are built on 

^ The keeps of Richmond and Bowes were only finished by Henry II. ; 
Richmond was begun by Earl Conan, who died in 11 70, when Henry 
appears to have taken up the work. Bowes was another of Earl Conan's 
castles. Tickhill is now destroyed to the foundations, but it is clear that it 
was a tower. The writer has examined all the keeps mentioned in this 
list. It will be noticed that most of the towers took many years to build. 



THE KEEPS OF HENRY H. 367 

precisely the same plan as those of Henry I. The chief 
advance is In the masonry. All the tower keeps of 
Henry H., except Dover, Chilham, and Canterbury, are 
or have been cased with good ashlar, of stones somewhat 
larger in size than those used by Henry I. The same 
may be said of the shell walls (namely, Windsor and 
Arundel); it is interesting to note that Henry H. still 
used this elementary form of citadel, which consisted 
merely of a wall round the top of a motte, with wooden 
buildings inside/ In three cases out of the ten tower 
keeps, Newcastle, Bowes, and Richmond, the basement 
storey is vaulted, which does not occur In the older 
keeps.^ Yet such Important castles as Scarborough, 
Dover, and Canterbury are without this provision 
against fire. None of these keeps appear to have more 
than three storeys above the basement.^ None of the 
entrances to the keeps (except Tickhill) have any port- 
cullis grooves,^ nor any special contrivances for defence, 
except at Canterbury, where the entrance (on the first 
floor) takes two turns at right angles before reaching 
the hall to which it leads. ^ There are nearly always 

1 Henry built one shell keep of rubble and rag, that of Berkeley Castle, 
which is not mentioned in the Pipe Rolls, having been built before his 
accession. It is noteworthy that he did not build it for himself, but for his 
ally, Robert Fitz Hardinge. 

2 The basement storey of Chester keep (the only part which now remains) 
is also vaulted, but this can scarcely be Henry's work, for though he spent 
;^io2 on this castle in 1159, it must have been begun by Ranulf, Earl of 
Chester, in Stephen's reign. Moreover, it is doubtful whether the vaulting, 
which is covered by whitewash, is really ancient. 

^ Leland says ofWark, "the dongeon is made of foure howses hight," 
but probably he included the basement. 

^ The earliest instance of a portcullis groove with which the writer is 
acquainted is in the basement entrance of Colchester. It is obvious to any- 
one who carefully examines this entrance and the great stair to the left of it 
that they are additions of a later time than William's work. The details 
seem to point to Henry I.'s reign. The keep of Rochester has also a port- 
cullis groove which seems to be a later addition. 



368 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

in the keeps of Henry II. some signs of Transition 
Norman in the details, such as the nook shafts at the 
angles of the towers of Scarborough and the Peak, 
certain arches at Canterbury, the Transition capitals 
used at Newcastle, and the filleted string round the 
outside of Bowes. 

But we have yet to speak of three keeps of Henry II.'s 
reign which are on a different plan to all the others, 
and which point to coming changes — Chilham, Orford, 
and Tickhill.^ Chilham Is an octagonal tower of three 
storeys, with a square annexe on one side, which appears 
to be original. Orford is polygonal outside, round Inside. 
Orford indeed is one of the most extraordinary keeps to 
be seen anywhere, and we must regard it as an experi- 
ment, and an experiment which appears never to have 
been repeated.^ Instead of the usual Norman buttresses, 
this polygonal keep has three buttress towers, placed 
between every four of the outer faces, 22 feet wide, and 
12 feet in projection.^ Tickhlll, however, the last keep 
he built, is decagonal. The object of the polygonal 
tower was to deflect the missiles thrown from siege 
engines, and the round tower was evidently considered 

^ King, paper on Canterbury Castle in ArchcEologia^ vi., 298. We have 
not observed in any English keeps (except in this single instance) any of 
the elaborate plans to entrap the enemy which M. Viollet le Due describes 
in his article on Donjons. He was an imaginative writer, and many of his 
statements should not be accepted without reserve. 

2 Wark was also an octagonal keep, but there is considerable doubt 
whether this octagonal building was the work of Henry II., as Lord Dacre 
wrote to Wolsey in 15 19 concerning Wark that "the dongeon is clerely 
finished," and mentions that all the storeys but one were vaulted with stone. 
This makes it almost certain that the castle of Wark was entirely rebuilt at 
this time, after having been demolished by the Scots in 1460. It is now an 
utter ruin, and even the foundations of the keep are buried. 

^ At Thorne, near Doncaster, where the great earls Warenne had a castle, 
there are the foundations, on a motte, of a keep which seems to resemble 
that of Orford ; it ought to be thoroughly excavated. 

^ These measurements are from Grose, A?itiquities^ v., 74. 



CHANGES IN TWELFTH CENTURY 369 

an improvement on the polygonal for this purpose, as 
it subsequently supplanted the polygonal type. It is 
therefore rather remarkable that Henry II. built both 
these keeps in the second decade of his reign, and 
afterwards went on building square keeps like his pre- 
decessors. We have seen, however, that he built at 
least one polygonal tower in Normandy, that of 
Gisors. We must bear in mind that the Norman 
and Angevine frontier was the theatre of the con- 
tinuous struggle of Henry II. with the French kings, 
Louis VII. and Philip Augustus, and that it is here that 
we must expect the greatest developments in military 
architecture. 

Speaking generally, we may say that just as there 
was comparatively little change ■ in armour during the 
1 2th century until the end of Henry II.'s reign, so there 
was comparatively little change in military architecture 
during the same period. But great changes took place 
towards the end of the 12th century. One of these 
changes was a great improvement in missile engines ; 
the trebuchet was one of the most important of these. 
It could throw much heavier stones than the largest 
catapult, and could take a more accurate aim.-^ These 
new engines were useful for defence as well as attack, 
and this affected the architecture of castles, because flat 
roofs covered with lead, on which machines could be 
placed, were now substituted for the former sloping 
roofs.^ There are several payments for lead for roofing 
castles in the Pipe Rolls of Henry II., the earliest 
being in 11 66. In the reigns of John and Henry HL 

^ See Payne Gallvvey, The Crossbow^ 309 ; Kohler, Kriegswesen^ iii., 
192. The trebuchet is first mentioned at the siege of Piacenza in 1199. 

2 As far as we can tell, the tops of keeps having generally been ruined 
or altered, the common arrangement was either a simple gable, or two 
gables resting on a cross wall, such as all the larger keeps possessed. 

2 A 



370 SrONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

the mention of lead for roofing becomes much more 
frequent.-^ 

Hitherto, in the defence of keeps, reliance had mainly 
been placed upon their passive strength, though not so 
entirely as has been commonly assumed, since it was 
always the practice to shoot with arrows from the 
battlements round the roof of the tower. But not only 
was the fighting strength of the keep increased by the 
trebuchet, but the introduction of the crossbow gave 
it a defensive arm of the greatest importance. The 
crossbow had been known to the Romans, and was used 
in the early part of the 12th century, but it was forbidden 
by the second Lateran Council in 11 39 as a weapon 
hateful to God.^ This prohibition seems actually to 
have been effective, as William the Breton says expressly 
that the crossbow was unknown to the French before 
the wars of Richard I. and Philip i\ugustus.^ Richard 
learned the use of it in the third crusade."* But to use 
the crossbow in the defence of buildings it was necessar)^ 
to construct special loopholes for shooting, splayed 
downwards externally, so that It was possible to aim 
from them. Up till this time the loopholes of castles 
had been purely for light and not for shooting ; anyone 

^ Another consequence of the introduction of an engine of longer range 
was the widening of castle ditches. We frequently find works on ditches 
mentioned in John's accounts. 

' Payne Gallwey, The Crossbow^ p. 3. We find it used by Louis VI. of 
France, before 1137. Suger's Gesia Ludovici, 10 (ed. Molinier). Ten 
balistarii are mentioned in Domesday Book, but they may have been 
engineers of the great balista, a siege machine. There is no representation 
of a crossbow in the Bayeux Tapestry. There are entries in the Pipe Rolls 
of 6, 8, and 9 Henry II. of payments for arbelast', but these also may refer 
to the great balista. 

3 Guill. Brit. Armorici Philippides^ Bouquet xvii., line 315. 

^ The bow brought by Richard from Palestine is believed to have 
been an improved form of crossbow, made of horn and yew, " light, 
elastic, and far more powerful than a bow of solid wood." Payne Gallwey, 
The C7'ossbou'. 



LOOPHOLES FOR SHOOTING 371 

may see that It is Impossible to take aim through an 
immensely thick wall unless there is a downward splay 
to increase the field of vision. William the Breton tells 
us that Richard built windows for crossbows to his 
towers, and this is the first mention we have of them.^ 

From this time defensive loopholes become common 
in castles, and take various fanciful forms, as well as the 
commoner ones of the circle, square, or triangle at the 
base of the loop. The cross loophole, which does not 
appear till the latter quarter of the 13th century, is 
explained by Viollet le Due as an Ingenious way of 
allowing three or four archers to fire in a volley.^ But 
up to the present time very little study has been given to 
this subject, and w^e must be content to leave the question 
for future observation to settle." 

The crossbowmen not only required splayed loop- 
holes, but also niches, large enough to accommodate at 
least three men, so that a continuous discharge of darts 
(quarrells) might be kept up. Any defensive loop which 
really means work will have a niche like this behind it. 
These niches had the defect of seriously weakening the 
wall. 

Another Innovation introduced by Richard L was 

^ " Fenestris arcubalistaribus," Bouquet xvii., 75. The writer has 
never found a single defensive loophole in any of the keeps of Henry I. or 
Henry H. Kohler remarks that the loopholes up to this period do not 
seem to be intended for shooting {Entwickelung des Kriegswesen, iii., 409), 
and Clark has some similar observations. 

2 Dictionnaire de r Architecture, art. " Meurtriere." 

•^ Meyrick in his Ancient Armour quotes a charter of 1239, in which the 
French king grants a castle to the Count de Montfort on condition " quod 
non possumus habere in eodem archeriam nee arbalisteriam," which Meyrick 
audaciously translates " any perpendicular loophole for archers, nor any 
cruciform loophole for crossbowmen." The quotation is unfortunately 
given by Sir R. Payne Gallwey without the Latin original. It is at any rate 
probable that the cruciform loophole was for archers ; it does not appear 
till the time of the long-bow, which was improved and developed by Edward 
I., who made it the most formidable weapon of English warfare. 



372 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

that of stone machicolations, or hurdicia? Whether 
wooden galleries round the tops of walls, with holes for 
dropping down stones, boiling-water, or pitch on the 
heads of the besiegers had not been used from the 
earliest times, is regarded by Kohler as extremely doubt- 
ful.^ They were certainly used by the Romans, and 
may even be seen clearly figured on the Assyrian 
monuments. In the Bayeux Tapestry, the picture of 
Bayeux Castle shows the stockade on top of the motte 
crested with something extremely like hurdicia. Yet 
the writer has found no authentic mention of them 
before the end of the 12th century.^ The stone machi- 
colations built by Richard round his keep of Chateau 
Gaillard are of an unusual type, which was only rarely 
imitated.^ But from this time wooden hurdicia became 
universal, to judge from the numerous orders for timber 
for hoarding castles and town walls in the Close Rolls 
of the first half of the 13th century. Towards the 
middle of the 13th century stone brackets for the support 
of wooden hurdicia began to be used ; they may still 
be seen in the great keep of Coucy, which was begun 
in 1230. But machicolations entirely of stone, supported 
on double or triple rows of brackets, do not become 
common till the 14th century.^ 

^ See Appendix H. 

^ Eniwickelufig des Kriegswesen^ iii., 417. 

^ In 1 1 86, the Duke of Burgundy caused the towers and walls of his 
castle of Chatillon to be "hoarded" (hordiari). This duke had been a 
companion of Richard's on the third crusade. William le Breton, Philippides^ 
line 600. Richard's hurdicia at Chateau Gaillard were two years earlier. 

^ See Dieulafoy, Le Chateau Gaillard et V Architecture Militaire au 
Treizihne Siecle, p. 13. 

^ The best French and German authorities are agreed about this. The 
holes in which the wooden beams supporting the hurdicia were placed may 
still be seen in many English castles, and so may the remains of the stone 
brackets. They would be good indications of date, were it not that hurdicia 
could so easily be added to a much older building. 



INTRODUCTION OF ROUND KEEPS 373 

The greatest architectural change witnessed at the 
end of the 12th century was the victory of the round 
keep over the square. Round towers were built by the 
Romans as mural towers, but the universal type of 
mediaeval keep appears to have been the square or 
oblong, until towards the end of the 12th century.^ 
The polygonal keep was probably a transitional form ; 
we have seen that Henry II.'s polygonal keep at Orford 
was begun as early as 1165. Many experiments seem 
to have been made at the end of the 12th century, such 
as the addition of a stone prow to the weakest side of a 
keep, to enable It better to resist showers of missiles. 
Richard I.'s keep at Chateau Galllard Is a round keep 
with a solid prow of this kind. Five-sided keeps are 
said to be not uncommon on the left bank of the Rhine 
and In Nassau ; this type was simply the addition of a 
prow to a square keep. The only English Instance 
known to the writer Is that of MItford, Northumberland, 
but this Is merely a five-sided keep, the prow Is not solid, 
as at Chateau Galllard. The castle of Etampes, whose 
plan Is a quatrefoll, Is assigned by French archaeologists 
to this period of experiment.^ But the round keep was 
eventually the type preferred. Philip II. thought It 
necessary to add a round keep to the castle of GIsors, 
after he had taken It from John, and he adopted the 
round keep for all his new castles, of which the Louvre 
was one.^ 

Along with the round keep, ground entrances became 

^ Kohler gives the reign of Frederic Barbarossa (1155-1191) as the time 
of the first appearance of the round keep in Germany. 

^ In spite of this, I cannot feel satisfied that the keep of Etampes is of 
so early a date. The decorative features appear early, but the second and 
third storeys are both vaulted, which is a late sign. The keep called 
Clifford's Tower at York, built by Henry III. 1245 to 1259, is on the same 
plan as Etampes. 

^ This keep has been long destroyed. 



374 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

common.^ Viollet le Due states that when the French 
soldiers broke into the inner ward at Chateau Gaillard 
the defenders had no time to escape into the keep by the 
narrow stair which led to the first floor, and consequently 
this proud tower was surrendered without a blow ; and 
that this event so impressed on Philip's mind the danger 
of difficult entrances that he abandoned the old fashion. 
This may be true, but it is a pure guess of Le Due's, as 
there is nothing whatever to justify it in William the 
Breton's circumstantial narrative. It is, however, 
certain that Philip adopted the ground entrance to all 
his keeps. In England we find ground entrances to 
many round keeps of the 13th century, as at Pembroke ; 
but the older fashion was sometimes retained ; Conis- 
burgh, one of the finest keeps in England, has its 
entrance on the first floor.^ 

After the introduction of the tr^buchet, we might 
expect that the walls of keeps would be made very much 
thicker, and such seems to have been the case in France,^ 
but we do not find that it was the rule in England.^ 
The lower storeys were now generally instead of occa- 
sionally vaulted. In the course of the 13th century it 
became common to vault all the storeys. But in spite 
of the military advantages of the round keep, in its 
avoidance of angles favourable to the battering-ram, and 

^ Ground entrances occur in several much earlier keeps, as at Colchester 
(almost certainly an addition of Henry I.'s time), Bamborough (probably 
Henry II. 's reign), and Richmond, where Earl Conan seems to have used a 
former entrance gateway to make the basement entrance of his keep. See 
Milward, Arch. Journ.^ vol. v. 

2 Built by Earl Hamelin, half-brother of Henry II., who died in 1201. 

3 Viollet le Due, art. " Donjon." 

^ The walls of the Tower are from 12 to 15 feet thick at the base ; those 
of Norwich 13 ; the four walls of Dover respectively, 17, 18, 19, and 21 feet ; 
Carlisle, 15 feet on two sides. (Clark.) William of Worcester tells us that 
Bristol keep was 25 feet thick at the base ! ///«., p. 260. 



THE KEEPLESS CASTLE 375 

Its deflection of missiles, the square keep continued to be 
built In various parts of both France and England till 
quite late In the Middle xA.ges.-^ On the Scottish border, 
square towers of the ancient type, with quite Norman 
decorations, were built as late as the 15th century.^ 
The advantage of the square tower was that It was 
more roomy Inside, and was therefore preferred when 
the tower was Intended for habitation. 

We come now to the greatest of all the changes intro- 
duced In the 13th century: the keepless castle, In which 
the keep is done away with altogether, and the castle 
consists of a square or oblong court surrounded by a 
strong wall with massive towers at the angles, and In 
large castles, in the curtain also.^ Usually this Inner 
quadrangle Is encircled with an outer quadrangle of 
walls and towers, so that this type of castle Is frequently 
called the conce^itric. But the castles of the keepless 
kind are not Invariably concentric ; those built by 
Edward I. at Conway, Carnarvon, and Flint are not 
so/ Instead of a dark and comfortless keep, the royal 
or noble owner Is provided In this type of castle with a 
palatial house. In England this house is frequently 
attached to the gateway, forming what we may call 
a gatehouse palace ; good examples may be seen 
at Beaumaris, Harlech, and Tonbrldge.^ The gate- 

^ See Enlart, Manuel d' ArchcEologie Francaise, ii., 526. 

^ MacGibbon and Ross, Castellated Architecture of Scotland^ p. 159. 

' This type of castle was probably borrowed from the fortifications of 
Greek cities, which the Crusaders had observed in the East. 

* Conway and Carnarvon consist of two adjoining courts, without any 
external enclosure but a moat. Flint has a great tower outside the quad- 
rangle, which is sometimes mistakenly called a keep, but its internal 
arrangements show that it was not so, and it is doubtful whether it was ever 
roofed over. It was simply a tower to protect the entrance, taking the 
place of the 13th-century barbican. 

^ Kohler states that the gatehouse palace is peculiar to England: " only at 
Perpignan is there anything like it." Entwickelung des Kriegswesen^Vn.^^io, 



376 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

way Itself Is always defended by a pair of massive 
towers. 

Edward I. is generally credited with the introduction 
of this type of castle into England, but until the Pipe 
Rolls of Henry III.'s reign have been carefully examined, 
we cannot be certain that it was not Introduced earlier. 
It was certainly known in Germany fifty years before 
Edward's accession to the throne, and in France as early 
as 1231.^ 

It is always supposed that this type of castle was 
introduced by the Crusaders from Syria. But when did 
it make its first appearance In Syria .^ This is a point 
which, we venture to think, has not been yet sufficiently 
investigated. We do not believe that it can have 
existed in Syria at the time of the third crusade, 
otherwise Richard I., who is universally acknowledged 
to have been a first-class military architect, would have 
brought the idea home with him.^ Yet his favourite 
castle of Chateau Galllard, built in accordance with the 
latest military science, is in the main a castle of the 
keep-and-bailey type, and has even a reminiscence of 
the motte, in the scarped rock on which the keep and 
inner ward are placed. 

^ Kohler mentions the castle of Neu Leiningen as the first example in 
Germany, built in 1224. Kriegswesen, iii., 475. Frederic II. 's castles were 
of this type. The castle of Boulogne, finished in 1231, is one of the oldest 
examples of the keepless type in France. Enlart, Archceologie Francaise^ 
ii., 534. The Bastille of Paris was a castle of this kind. According to 
Hartshorne, Barnwell Castle, in Northants, is of the keepless kind, and as 
the Hundred Rolls state that it was built in 1264, we seem to have here a 
positive instance of a keepless castle in Henry III.'s reign. Arch. Inst. 
Newcastle^ vol. 1852. And it appears to be certain that Gilbert de Clare, 
Earl of Gloucester, built the keepless castle of Caerphilly before Edward 
came to the throne. See Little's MedicBval Wales^ p. 87. 

2 French archaeologists are enthusiastic over the keep of Chateau 
Gaillard, the scientific construction of the towers of the curtain, the avoid- 
ance of "dead angles," the continuous flanking, etc. See Viollet le Due, art. 
" Chateau," and Dieulafoy, Le Chateau Gaillard, 



LAWS RELATING TO CASTLES 377 

The new type of keepless castle never entirely dis- 
placed the old keep-and-bailey type. We have already 
seen that keeps of the old sort continued to be built till 
the end of the Middle Ages. Hawarden Castle has a 
good example of a 14th-century round keep; Wark- 
worth a most remarkable specimen of the 15th, the 
plan being a square tower with polygonal turrets set on 
each face.^ In France and Germany also the old type 
appears to have persisted.^ 

We have already trespassed beyond the limits of our 
subject ; but as we offer this chapter more as a 
programme of w^ork than as a categorical outline, we 
trust it may not be without use to the student who may 
feel disposed to take up this much-neglected subject. 

A few words must yet be said about the state of the 
law^ relating to castles. Nothing explicit has come 
down to us on this subject from the nth century in 
England, but it is clear that the feudal system which 
William introduced, and which required that all lands 
should revert to the king on the death of the holder, 
forbade the building of any castle without the king's 
license, and, further, allowed only a life tenure in each 
case. The Council of Lillebonne in 1080 had laid it 
down in express terms that no one should build a 
castle in Normandy without the permission of the duke ; ^ 

^ This type is extremely rare : Trim, in Ireland, and Castle Rushen, in 
the Isle of Man, are the only other instances known to the writer. Trim is 
a square tower with square turrets in the middle of each face ; Castle 
Rushen is on the same plan, but the central part appears to have been an 
open court. 

2 Enlart, ArchcBologie Franqaise^ ii., 516. 

^ Martcne^s Thesaurus Anecdotorum^ iv., 118. "Nulli licuit in Nor- 
mannia fossatum facere in planam terram, nisi tale quod de fundo potuisset 
terram jactare superius sine scabello. Et ibi nulli licuit facere palicium, 
nisi in una regula ; et id sine propugnaculis et alatoriis. Et in rupe et in 
insula nulli licuit facere fortitudinem, et nulli licuit in Normannia castel- 
lum facere." 



378 STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD 

and William, after his great victory over his revolted 
barons, had enforced the right of garrisoning their 
castles. He was not able to do this in England, 
while he must have desired to check the building of 
private castles as far as possible. On the other hand, 
he had to face the dilemma that no Norman land-holder 
would be safe in his usurped estates without the shelter 
of a castle. In this situation we have the elements of 
the civil strife which burst forth in Stephen s reign, and 
which was ended by what we may call the anti-castle 
policy of Henry 11.^ 

The rights secured by this able king were often 
recklessly sold by his successors, but in the reign of 
Henry III. it was evidently illegal even to fortify an 
ordinary house with a ditch and stockade without royal 
permission.^ 

Feudalism was an inevitable phase in the evolution 
of the Western nations, and it ought neither to be 
idealised nor execrated. After the break-up of the 
tribal system the nations of Europe sought refuge in 
the forms of imperialism which were devised by 
Charlemagne, and even the small and distant island of 
England strove to move in the same direction. But 
the times were not ripe for centralisation on so great a 
scale, and when the system of the Carlovingian Empire 
gave way under the inrush of Northmen and Huns, 
European society would have fallen into ruin had it not 
been for the institutions of feudalism. These offered, 

1 The document which calls itself Leges Henrici Primi^ x., i, declares 
the " castellatio trium scannorum " to be a right of the king. Scannorum 
is clearly scamnoru?n^ banks. It is noteworthy that a motte-and-bailey 
castle is actually a fortification with three banks : one round the top of the 
motte, one round the edge of the bailey, one on the counterscarp of the ditch. 

2 See the case of Benhall, Close Rolls^ ii., 52b (1225). 



FEUDALISM 



oi 



In place of the old blood bond of the tribe, a social 
compact which, though itself artificial, was so admirably 
adapted to the general need that it was speedily adopted 
by all the progressive nations of Europe. The great 
merit of feudalism was that it replaced the collective 
responsibility of the tribe by the individual responsibility 
of the man to his lord, and of the lord to his man. In 
an age when the decay of mutual trust was the worst 
evil of society It laid stress on individual loyalty, and 
Insisted that personal honour should consist In the fulfil- 
ment of obligations. Being a system so wholly personal, 
its usefulness depended largely on the nature of the person 
in power, and it was therefore liable to great abuses. 

But It is probable that feudalism worked better on 
the whole in England than In any other part of Western 
Europe. The worst evils of French feudalism never 
appeared in this country, except during the short and 
disastrous reign of Stephen. The strong kings of the 
Norman and Plantagenet Houses held In check the 
turbulence of the barons ; and private war was never 
allowed to become here, as it was on the Continent, a 
standing evil. To follow out this subject would lead us 
beyond the limits of this book, but It is interesting to 
remember that not only the picturesque ruins of our 
castles, but also the neglected green hillocks of which 
we have treated in this work, while they point to the 
skilful machinery by which the Norman Conquest was 
riveted on the land, bear witness also to something still 
more Important. They tell of a period of discipline and 
education through which the English people passed, 
when in spite of much oppression and sometimes even 
cruelty, seeds of many noble and useful things were 
sown, from which succeeding generations have garnered 
the enduring fruit. 



APPENDICES 

APPENDIX A 
PRIMITIVE FOLK-MOOTS 

The popular meetings of the Anglo-Saxons, those of the 
hundred and the shire, were held in the open air. Since many 
of those who attended them had to travel far, some sign was 
necessary to mark out the place of meeting, and some striking 
feature, such as a hillock, or a particular tree, or an ancient 
barrow, was chosen. Thus we have the Shire Oak, near Leeds, 
which gives its name to the wapentake of Skyrack ; and in a 
charter of Edgar we find the viot-beorh mentioned, and trans- 
lated Congressionis Collein = th^ meeting barrow. (J/. A.^ ii., 
324.) It does not appear that a hillock was an essential feature 
of these meeting-places, though this is popularly supposed to be 
the case, because the " Thing-wall " in Iceland and the " Tynwald " 
in the Isle of Man have hillocks from which laws were 
proclaimed. The Thingwall, or field of meeting in Iceland had 
a natural rock just above it, isolated by a stream, and though 
proclamations were made from this rock, deliberations took 
place on the level. (Gomme's Primitive Folk-Moots^ 31.) 

The Tynwald Hill, in the Isle of Man, which is also still used 
for the proclamation of new laws, was probably an ancient 
barrow, as there are other barrows in the immediate neighbour- 
hood. (Kermode and Herd man. Illustrated Notes o?i Alanx 
Antiquities, pp. 23 and 61.) At Thingwall, near Liverpool, and 
Thingwall in VVirral, both probably Norse settlements, there is 
no hillock. 

In Scotland, the use of a former motte as a meeting-place 
for the baronial court appears to have been much more common 
than in England. Mr George Neilson's explanation of this fact 
is referred to in Chapter X., p. 307. 

381 



382 APPENDICES 



APPENDIX B 
WATLING STREET AND THE DANELAGH 

It has been pointed out by Schrcnd {Gesetze der Aitgelsachsen, 
xxxviii.) that the document called Alfred and GuthrunCs 
Peace cannot belong to the year of Guthrum's baptism at 
Wedmore ; and Mr J. R. Green {Conquest of England^ p. 151) 
goes further, and doubts whether the boundaries laid down in 
this deed refer to anything except to the East Anglian kingdom 
of Guthrum. But Mr Green gives no adequate reason for 
rejecting the generally accepted conclusion that the Watling 
Street was the boundary between English and Danish Mercia, 
which is borne out by the following facts: (i) the Danish 
confederacy of the five boroughs, Lincoln, Stamford, Leicester, 
Nottingham, and Derby, pretty well covers the part of Mercia 
north of Watling Street, especially when Chester is added, as it 
sometimes is, to the list ; (2) the division into wapentakes 
instead of hundreds, now believed to be of Danish origin, is 
found in Lincolnshire, Notts, Derbyshire, Rutland, Leicester- 
shire, and Northamptonshire. Staffordshire, it is true, is not 
divided into wapentakes, but it was apparently won by 
conquest when Ethelfleda fortified the town. Chester was 
occupied by her husband in 908. Watling Street furnishes such 
a well-defined line that it was natural to fix upon it as a frontier. 



APPENDIX C 

THE MILITARY ORIGIN OF ALFRED'S BOROUGHS 

Keutgen {Untersuchungen ilber deit Urspj^ung der Deutschen 
Stadtv erf as Slings i895) appears to have been the first to notice 
the military origin of the Old Saxon boroughs ; and Professor 
Maitland saw the applicability of the theory to the boroughs of 
Alfred and Edward the Elder. {Domesday Book and Beyond.) 



APPENDIX D 383 

The A n^/o- Saxon CJiro7iicle/\x\. 894, speaks of "the men whose 
duty it was to defend the towns " ; this proves that Alfred had 
made some special arrangement for the defence of the towns ; 
and this arrangement must have been something quite apart 
from the ordinary service of the^r*^^ or militia, which was only 
due for a short time. It must have been something permanent, 
with an adequate economic basis, such as we have in Henry the 
Fowler's plan. 



APPENDIX D 

THE WORDS "CASTRUM" AND "CASTELLUM" 

If we take the chroniclers of the reign of Charlemagne and his 
successors in the 9th century, we find the word castruin 
constantly used for places such as Avignon, Dijon, Macon, 
Rheims, Chalons, Cologne, Andernach, Bonn, Coblenz, etc., all 
of which are known to have been Roman castra, when there can 
be no doubt that the city is meant. Take, for instance, the 
Annales Metteyises (Pertz, i., 326), 737 : Karl jMartel hears that 
the Saracens have taken "castrum munitissimum Avinionem " 
(Avignon) ; he marches against them, and ^'' predictam urbein 
obsidione circumdat." But these cities are not only called 
castra^ they are also called castella. Thus the chronicle ascribed 
to Hincmar calls Macon both castrujn and castelluvi in the 
same breath. {ATigne^ 125, 1298.) The fortifications built by 
Charlemagne against the Saxons are called castra, castdla, 
and civitates. {Chroyt. Moissiacense, Pertz, i., 308. Ann. 
Einhardi^ ibid., 196, 204.) The camps of the Northmen, which 
as we have seen, were of great size, are also called not only 
castra^ but civitates, castella^ munitiones^ oppida. {A finales 
Fuldenses, Pertz, i., 397.) The camp built by Charles the Bald 
at Pistes in 868 is called a castelhim, though it was evidently 
an enclosure of great size, as he measured out quarters in it 
for his nobles, and formed an elaborate scheme for its 
maintenance. (Hincmar, Migne, 125, 1242, 1244.) Coming to 
the loth century, the following passage from Flodoard will 



384 APPENDICES 

show the vagueness of the words in common use for fortifica- 
tions : " Heribertus Ansellum Bosonis subditum, qui praedictum 
custodiebat casti'uiu (Vitry), cum ipso castello recipit, et 
Codiacum S. Remigii iminicipmiii illi cum alia terra concedit. 
Nee longum, Bosonis fideles oppidanoruvi proditione Victoriacum 
(Vitry) recipiunt, et Mosonum fraude pervadunt. At Heri- 
bertus, a quibusdam Mosomensibus evocatus, supervenit 
insperatus, et entrans oppzdum, porta latenter a civibus aperta, 
milites Bosonis, qui ad custodiam loci residebant, ibidem 
omnes capit." {Migne, 135,297.) Here it is clear that castruin^ 
casteUiiin^ municipium, and oppidtim all mean the same thing, 
and the one word civibus betrays that it is a city which is 
meant. Undoubtedly the chronicler thinks it elegant to change 
his words as often as he can. Munitio is another word 
frequently used ; in classical Latin it means a bulwark, a wall 
or bank ; in the chroniclers of the loth century it is used 
indifferently for a town or castle, though certain passages, such 
as " subversis multarum munitionibus urbium " (Flodoard, i., vi.), 
show that the right sense is not far from the mind of the 
writer. The numerous passages in which we are told of 
monasteries being enclosed with walls and converted into castella^ 
show that the enclosure is the chief idea which the chroniclers 
associate with this word. The citations made above are not 
exceptional, but typical, and could be paralleled by countless 
others. 

Since the above was written, I have read Keutgen's Unter- 
suchungen ilber den Ursprung der Deutschen Stadtverfassung. 
He remarks that the Latin words for a town (in the lOth and 
nth century writers) are urbs, castellum, az/Z/^j, sometimes arx ; 
for a village, villa, oppidum, vicus. This absolutely agrees with 
what I have observed in these writers, except that I have 
certainly found oppidzim used for a town, as in the passage from 
Flodoard cited above. 



APPENDIX E 385 



APPENDIX E 

THE BURGHAL HIDAGE 

Tyly. Burghal Hidage has been printed by Birch, Cartularium, iii., 
671. The manuscript is very corrupt, and several of the places 
cannot be identified. Those which can be identified are : 
Hastings, Lewes, Burpham (near Arundel), Chichester, 
Porchester, Southampton, Winchester, Wilton, Tisbury, 
Shaftesbury, Twineham, Wareham, Bridport, Exeter, 
Halwell, Lidford, Pilton, Barnstaple, Watchet, Axbridge, 
Lyng (near Athelney), Langport, Bath, Malmesbury, Cricklade, 
Oxford, Wallingford, Buckingham, Eashing (near Guildford), 
and Southwark. The list thus seems to give an outline of 
Alfred's kingdom as it was at his death, or at the beginning 
of the reign of his son. Dr Liebermann refers it to the latter 
date. {Leges Angloj^um, 9.) 



APPENDIX F 

THELWALL 

A WRITER in the Manchester Guardian a few years ago 
suggested a new solution of the name Thelwall. He believes 
that the Thelwall raised by Edward was a boundary wall of 
timber, stretching from Thelwall to Runcorn. The Mersey, he 
argues, above Thelwall formerly broadened out into a series of 
swamps which would effectually defend the frontier towards the 
east. But westward from Thelwall there were no such obstacles, 
and it is assumed that Edward made a timber wall from 
Thelwall to Ethelfleda's fortress at Runcorn. Some support to 
this hypothesis is given in; the names of places between Thelwall 
and Runcorn : Stockton, Walton (twice), Stockham, Walford, 
Wallmore, and Wall-hes. Further, when the bed of the Mersey 

2 6 



386 APPENDICES 

was delved for the Ship Canal, discovery was made of " a 
remarkable series of submerged piles, 9 feet long, arranged in 
two parallel ranks which were 30 feet apart. The intervals 
between the piles varied, but seem to have averaged 5 to 6 feet. 
Between the ranks were diagonal rows of upright stakes, each 
stake about 5 feet long, extending from either rank chevron- 
wise to the middle and there overlapping, so that the ground- 
plan of them makes a kind of herring-bone pattern. By this 
plan, anyone passing through would have to make a zigzag 
course. In some places sticks and sedges were found interwoven 
horizontally with the stakes, a condition of things which 
probably obtained throughout the whole series. The tops of the 
tallest piles were 10 feet below the present surface of the 
ground, which fact goes far toward precluding the possibility 
that this elaborate work may have been a fish-weir. The 
disposition of the stakes points to a military origin. So 
arranged, the advantage they offered to defending forces was 
enormous." I think it worth while to reproduce this account, 
especially because of the place-names, but those who are learned 
in the construction of fish-weirs may perhaps think that the 
description will apply to a work of that kind. 



APPENDIX G 

THE WORD "BRETASCHE" 

This word, which also appears as bretagium, britagium, or 
bristega, evidently means a tower, as is clear from the following 
passages : Order from King John to erect a mota et bretagium 
at Roscrea, in Ireland (Sweetman's Calendar, i., 412) ; Order by 
Henry III. to the dwellers in the Valley of Montgomery "quod 
sine dilatione motas suas bonis bretaschiis firmari faciant " 
{Close Rolls, ii., 42) ; Order that the timber and bretasche of 
Nafferton Castle be carried to Newcastle, and the bretasche to 
be placed at the gate of the drawbridge in place of the little tower 
which fell through defect in its foundations {Close Rolls, i., 
549b). 



APPENDIX H 387 

The word is also expressly defined by William the Breton as 
a wooden castle : " Circuibat castrum ex omni parte, et fabricavit 
brestachias duplices per septem loca, castella videlicet lignea 
munitissima." (Bouquet, xvii., jZ^ 

See also Wright, " Illustrations of Domestic Architecture," 
Arch. Journ., i., 212 and 301. In these papers it is clear that 
" breteske " means a tower, as there are several pictures of it. 
At a later period it seems to have been used for a wooden 
balcony made for the purpose of shooting, in the same sense as 
the word " hurdicium " ; but I have not met with any instance of 
this before the 14th century. 



APPENDIX H 

THE WORDS "HURDICIUM" AND " HORDIARI " 

These words refer to the wooden galleries carried round the 
tops of walls, to enable the defenders to throw down big stones 
or other missiles on those who were attempting to attack the 
foot of the walls. " Hurdicia quae muros tutos reddebant." 
{Philippidos^ vii., 201; Bouquet, xvii.) The word "alures" is 
sometimes used in the same sense. See a mandamus of Henry 
III., cited by Turner, History of Domestic Architecture^ i., 198: 
" To make on the same tower [of London] on the south side, at 
the top, deep alures of good and strong timber, entirely and 
well covered with lead, through which people can look even to 
the foot of the tower, and better defend it, if need may be." 
The alures of the castle of Norwich are spoken of as early as 
1 1 87, but this mention, and one of the alures round the castle 
of Winchester in 1193, are the only ones I find in the 12th 
century in England. 



388 APPENDICES 



APPENDIX I 

"HERICIO, ERICIO, HERITO, HERISSON" 

This is derived from the French word herisson^ a hedgehog, 
and should mean something bristling, perhaps with thorns or 
osiers. Several passages show that it was a defence on the 
counterscarp of the ditch, and it may sometimes have been a 
hedge. Cohausen, Befestigungen der Vorzeit^ shows that hedges 
were frequently used in early fortifications (pp. 8-13). The 
following passages seem to show clearly that it was on the 
counterscarp of the ditch : " [Montreuil] il a bien clos, esforce 
e ferme de pel e hericonr (Wace, 107.) " Reparato exterioris 
Ardensis munitionis valli fossato et amplificato, et sepibus et 
ericiis consepto et constipato." (Lambert of Ardres, 623, circa 
1 1 17.) The French poem of Jordan Fantosme, describing the 
siege of Wark by the Scots in 11 74, says the Scots attacked 
and carried the herico7t^ and got into the ditch, but they could 
not take the bayle, i.e.y they could not get over the palicium. 



APPENDIX K 

THE CASTLE OF YALE 

In the year 1693, the antiquary Edward Llwyd was sitting 
on the motte of Tomen y Rhoddwy engaged in making a very 
bad plan of the castle [published in Arch. Camb.^ N.S., ii., 57]. 
His guide told him that he had heard his grandfather say that 
two earls used to live there. Llwyd called the guide an 
ignorant fellow. Modern traditions are generally the work of 
some antiquary who has succeeded in planting his theories 
locally ; but here we have a tradition of much earlier date 
than the time when antiquaries began to sow tares, and 
such traditions have usually a shred of truth in them. Is 



f 



APPENDIX L 389 

it possible that this castle of Tomen y Rhoddwy and the 
neighbouring one of Llanarmon were built by the earls of 
Chester and Shrewsbury, who certainly went on expeditions 
together against Wales, and appear to have divided their 
conquests? It is to be noted that the township is called 
Bodigre yr Yarll^ the township of the earls. 



APPENDIX L 

THE CASTLE OF TULLOW OR "COLLACHT," p. 335 

This information is kindly supplied by Mr Goddard H. 
Orpen, who writes to me : " I visited Tullow lately, and asked 
myself where would a Norman erect a mote, and I had no 
difficulty in answering : on the high ground near where the 
Protestant church stands. When I got up there the first thing 
that I noticed was that the church stood on a platform of earth 
10 to 14 feet higher than the road, and that this platform was 
held in position by a strong retaining wall, well battered 
towards the bottom on one side. I then found on enquiry that 
the hill on which it stood and the place to the N.W. of it 
was called the ' Castle Hill.' On going round to the N.W. 
of the church I found a horseshoe-shaped space, scarped all 
round to a height of 6 to 10 feet, and rising to about 16 feet 
above the adjoining fields. There is no doubt that this was the 
site of the castle, and that it was artificially raised. To my 
mind there was further little doubt that it represented an 
earlier mote. In a field adjoining on the W. I could detect a 
platform of about 50 to 70 paces, with traces of a fosse round 
the three outer sides. . . . This was certainly the Castellum de 
Tulach mentioned in the deeds concerning Raymond le Gros' 
grant to the Abbey of St Thomas. — Dublin Reg. St Thomas, pp. 
Ill, 113." 



390 APPENDICES 



APPENDIX M 
THE CASTLE OF SLANE 

Mr Westropp says that the "great earthworks and fosses" 
on the Hill of Slane are mentioned in the *' Life of St Patrick " 
{Journ. R. S. A, /., 1904, p. 313). What the Life really says is : 
" They came to Ferta Fer Fiecc," which is translated " the graves 
of Fiacc's men " ; and the notes of Muirchu Maccu-Machtheni 
add, "which, as fables say, were dug by the slaves of Feccol 
Ferchertni, one of the nine Wizards" {Tripartite Life, p. 278). 
It does not mention any fort, or even a hill, and though Ferta 
Fer Fiecc is identified with Slane, there is nothing to show 
what part of Slane it was. 



APPENDIX N 
THE WORD "DONJON" 

Professor Skeat and The New English Dictionary derive this 
word from the Low Latin, dominionem, ace. of doininio, lordship. 
Leland frequently speaks of the keep as the dungeon, which of 
course is the same word. Its modern use for a subterranean 
prison seems to have arisen when the keeps were abandoned 
for more spacious and comfortable habitations by the noble 
owners, and were chiefly used as prisons. The word dunio, which, 
as we have seen, Lambert of Ardres used for a motte, probably 
comes from a different root, cognate with the Anglo-Saxon 
dun, a hill, and used in Flanders for the numerous sandhills of 
that coast. 



APPENDIX O 391 



APPENDIX O 

THE ARRANGEMENTS IN EARLY KEEPS 

We get a glimpse of these in a story given in the " Gesta 
Ambasiensium Dominorum/' D'Archery, Spicileghiin, 27S. 
Sulpicius the Treasurer of the Abbey of St Martin at Tours, 
an important personage, built a stone keep at Amboise in 1015 
{Chron. Turonense Magnum), in place of the " wooden house " 
which his brother had held. In the time of Fulk Rechin 
(1066-1106), this keep was in the hands of the adherents of 
the counts of Blois. Hugh, son of Sulpicius, with two other 
men, hid themselves by night in the basement, which was used 
as a storehouse ; it must therefore have had an entrance from 
outside. With the help of ropes, they climbed up a sewer into 
the bedchamber, which was above the cellar, and evidently had 
no stair communicating with the cellar. Here they found the 
lady of the house and two maids sleeping, and a watchman who 
was also asleep. While one of the men held these in terror 
with a drawn sword, the other two climbed up a ladder and 
through a trap-door up to the roof of the tower, where they 
unfurled the banner of Hugh. Here we see a very simple 
keep, which has only one storey above the basement ; this may 
have been divided into two or more apartments, but it was 
thought a fitting residence for a lady of rank. It had no 
stairs, but all the communications were by trap-doors and 
ladders. We may be quite sure that the people of rank of the 
iith and 12th centuries were content with much rougher 
accommodation than Mr Clark imagined. Even Richard I.'s 
much admired keep of Chateau Gaillard appears to have had 
no communication but ladders between the floors. 



392 APPENDICES 



APPENDIX P 

KEEPS AS RESIDENCES 

The description of a keep which we have already given from 
Lambert of Ardres (Chap. VI.) is sufficient to prove that even 
wooden keeps in the I2th century were used as permanent 
residences, and this is confirmed by many scattered notices in 
the various chronicles of France and England. It was not till 
late in the 13th century that the desire for more comfortable 
rooms led to the building of chambers in the courtyard. 



APPENDIX Q 

CASTLES BUILT BY HENRY I. 

The castles, which according to Robert de Monte, Henry I. 
built altogether \_ex integro] were Drincourt, Chateauneuf-sur- 
Epte, Verneuil, Nonancourt, Bonmoulins, Colmemont, 
Pontorson, St Denis-en-Lyons, and Vaudreuil. Many of these 
may have been wooden castles ; Chateauneuf-sur-Epte almost 
certainly was ; it has now a round donjon on a motte. The 
" Tour Grise " at Verneuil is certainly not the work of Henry I., 
but belongs to the 13th century. 



APPENDIX R 393 



APPENDIX R 

THE SO-CALLED SHELL KEEP 

We have three accounts of motte-castles from the 12th 
century : that of Alexander Neckham, in the treatise De 
Utensilibus; that of Laurence of Durham, cited in Chapter VH., 
p. 147 ; and the well-known description of the castle of Marchem, 
also cited in Chapter VI., p. 88. All these three describe the 
top of the motte as surrounded by a wall (of course of wood), 
within which is built a wooden tower. The account of Marchem 
says that it was built in the middle of the area. This supports 
the conjecture in the text. Mr H. E. Maiden has shown {Surrey 
Archceolog. Collectzofis, xvi., 28) that the keep of Guildford is of 
later date than the stone wall round the top of the motte. 
Remove this tower, and there would be what is commonly called 
a shell keep. It would appear, therefore, that it was a common 
practice to change the bank or stockade round » the top of the 
motte into a stone wall (no doubt as a defence against fire), 
leaving the keep inside still of wood. Four of the pictures from 
the Bayeux Tapestry (see Frontispiece) all give the idea of a 
wooden tower inside a stockade on a motte. 



APPENDIX S 
PROFESSOR LLOYD'S "HISTORY OF WALES" 

I REGRET that this valuable work did not appear until too late 
for me to make use of it in my chapter on Welsh Castles. It is 
worth while to note the following points in which Professor 
Lloyd's conclusions differ from or confirm those which I have 
been led to adopt. 

Aberystwyth and Aberrheiddiol. — '* After the destruction of 
the last Aberystwyth Castle of the older situation in 1143, the 



394 APPENDICES 

chief stronghold of the district was moved to the mouth of the 
Rheiddiol, a position which it ever afterwards retained, though 
people still insisted on calling it Aberystwyth" (514). "The 
original castle of Aberystwyth crowned the slight eminence at 
the back of the farm of Tan y Castell, which lies in the Ystwyth 
valley i^ miles S. of the town. There is the further evidence of 
the name, and the earthworks still visible on the summit" (426, 
note). 

Carreghova. — I ought perhaps to have included this castle in 
my list, though on the actual map its site is within the English 
border ; but as there are absolutely no remains of it [D. H. M.] 
it does not affect the question I am discussing. 

Cardigan and Cilgerran. — " Dingeraint cannot be Cilgerran, 
because Cilgerran is derived from Cerran^ with the feminine 
inflection, not from Gej^aint ; nor is Cilgerran 'close to the fall 
of the Teifi into the sea,' as the chronicler says Dingeraint was. 
The castle built by Earl Roger was probably Cardigan" (401). 
Professor Lloyd afterwards identifies Cilgerran with the castle 
of Emlyn (661). This seems to me questionable, as the "New 
Castle of Emlyn," first mentioned in Edward I.'s reign, pre- 
supposes an older castle, and as I have stated, a mound answer- 
ing to the older castle still exists not far from the stone castle. 

Carmarthen. — Professor Lloyd thinks this castle stood at the 
present farm of Rhyd y Gors, about a mile below the town ; but 
I see no reason to alter the conclusion to which I was led by 
Mr Floyd's paper, that the Rhyd y Gors of the castle was a ford 
at Carmarthen itself. The fact that Henry I. founded a cell to 
Battle Abbey at Carmarthen (431) seems to me an additional 
piece of evidence that the castle was there ; castle and abbey 
nearly always went together. 

Dinweiler. — Professor Lloyd assumes Dinweiler to be the 
same as the castle in Mabudryd built by Earl Gilbert, and to be 
situated at or near Pencader (501). It should be noted, however, 
that Dinweiler reads Dinefor in MS. B. of the Brut^ in 11 58. I 
am in error in supposing St Clair to be the castle of Mabudryd 
(following a writer in Archceologia Cambrensis), as St Clair is 
not in that commote. Professor Lloyd's map of the cantrefs and 
commotes differs widely from that of previous writers. 

Llangadoc. — " Luchewein " should not be identified with this 
castle ; Professor Lloyd thinks it may refer to a castle at Llwch 



APPENDIX S 395 

Owain, a lake in the parish of Llanarthney, where there is an 
entrenchment known as Castell y Garreg. 

Maud's Castle. — Camden identified " Matildis castrum " with 
t Colewent or Colwyn, but Professor Lloyd is of opinion that " a 

1 careful collation of the English and Welsh authorities for the 

events of the years 1 198 and 1231 will make it clear that 
Payne's Castle and Maud's Castle are the same." This of 
course does not affect what is said about Colwyn Castle in the 
text. 

Montgomery. — Professor Lloyd deems that the emphasis 
laid (especially in the Charter Rolls, i., loi) on the fact that the 
building of Henry III.'s reign was New Montgomery, leaves no 
doubt that the former town and castle stood elsewhere, probably 
at Hen Domen. This, if true, would greatly strengthen my 
case, as Hen Domen is an admirable motte and bailey. 



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INDEX 



Aber, 261 

Aberavon, 296 

Abercorn, 308 

Aberdovey, 300 

Abereinon, 301 

Abergavenny, 97 

Aberlleinog, 261 

Aberystwyth, 281, 393 

Aggeres, -J-], in 

Aldreth, 150 

Alfred, King, 13, 14, 15 

Am well, 52 

Annan, 309 

Anstruther family, 308 

Antrim, 331 

Appledore, 50 

Aq'i, 331 

Aquila, castle of, "j^ 

Ardfinnan, 331 

Ardmayle, 331 

Ardnurcher, 331 

Ardree, 331 

Ardres, 75, 89 

Area of Norman castles, 97 

Arques, 361 

Arundel, 98 

Arx, 211, 384 

Ashlar masonry, 356 

Askeaton, 332 

Askelon, 332 

Athelney, 14 

Athlone, 333 

Auchterless, 309 

Avenel family, 308 

Baginbun, 333 

Bailey, ballium, 4, 5, 92, 207 



Bakewell, 47 

Balimore Eustace, 333 

Balliol family, 308 

Ballyknockan, 341 

Ballynaclogh, 346 

Bamborough, 11, 100, 355, 357 

Banff, 319 

Barclay, 309 

Barnstaple, 102 

Barnwell, 376 

Baronies, 307 

Basements of keeps, 359, 362 

Basingwerk, 267 

Bastille, the, 376 

Bayeux Tapestry, 87, 158, 393 

Bayford Court, 49 

Bedford, 40 

Beith, 317 

Belesme, Roger, 100, 191 ; castle, 'j'j 

Belvoir, 102 

Benfleet, 50 

Bensington, 28 

Berkeley, 103, 367 

Berkhampstead, 105 

Bernard de Neufmarche, 273, 276 

Bervie River, 316 

Biggar, 313 

Bishop's Stortford, 107 

Blaenporth, 282 

Bleddfa, 293 

Blois, 75 

Blythe, 219 

Boley Hill, 49, 196, 199, 200 

Bordlands, 307 

Borgue, 317 

Boroughs, 21, 258, 382 

Boulogne, 376 n. i 

2 C 






402 



INDEX 



Bourn, 107 

Bowes, 366 

Bramber, 109 

Braose, De, 109, 276, 292 

Brecknock, 276, 290 

Bremesbyrig, 32 

Bretasche, 91, 386 

Bridgenorth, 33, 52 

Bristol, 23, no 

Bromborough, 32 

Bruce family, 309 

Brut y Tywysogion, 254 

Buckingham, 25, 40 

Burghal Hidage, 28, 98, 160, 885 

Burgh Castle, 44 n. i. 

Burgus, 85 

Burh, 17-19, 123 ; Clark's theory of, 

20-29 
Buttington, 51 

Cadwalader, 266 

Cadzow, 314 

Caen keep, 361 

Caereinion, 300 

Caerleon, 113 

Caerphilly, 376 n. i 

Caerwedros, 283 

Caherconlish, 333 

Cambridge, 55, 57, 114 

Camps, of refuge, 29 ; prehistoric, 6 ; 

of Danes, 61 
Canterbury, 116 
Carbury, 333 
Cardiff, 294 

Cardigan, 274, 275 ; Castle, 280 
Carisbrook, 121 
CarHngford, 334 
Carlisle, 25, 123, 365 
Carlovingian Empire, 66 
Carmarthen, 275, 394 
Carnarvon, 261, 375 
Carnwath, 318 
Carreghova, 271, 394 
Carrick, 334 
Carrickfergus, 334 
Carrickittle, 339 
Carrigogunell, 332 
Castel, the word, 24, 98 



Castellum, castrum, 25, 67, 169, 383 

Castles, private, Ch. V. ; product of 
feudalism, 66 ; in Normandy, 76, 
T'] ; wooden, 78 ; stone, Ch. XII. ; 
sites given to church, 259 n. 2. 

Castle Acre, 124 

Castledermot, 347 

Castle guard, 175 

Castleknock, 341 

Castlemore, 338 

Castle Rough, 49 

Castle Rushen, 377 n. i 

Castletown Delvin, 334 

Cathcart family, 310 

Catter, 315 

Ceredigion, 274, 275 

Chapels in castles, 355 

Chartres keep, 74 

Chastell G waiter, 282 

Chateaudun keep, 75 

Chateau Gaillard, 372, 376, 391 

Chepstow, 125 

Chester, 31, 126, 367 

Chevron moulding, 100 

Cheyne family, 310 

Chilham, 368 

Chimneys, 357 

Chinon, 75 

Chippenham, 55 

Chirk, 269 

Christison, Dr, 8, 31, 304, 306 

Cilgerran, 281, 394 

Citadels, 6, 54, 56 

Clare, house of, 275, 281 

Clark, G. T., 2, 8, 19, 26, 48 

Clears, St, 288, 394 » 

Cledemuthan, 43 

Clifford, 128 

Clitheroe, 129 

Clonard, 334 

Clonmacnoise, 335 

Colchester, 41, 132, 223, 354, 355 

Collacht, 335 

Colville family, 310 

Comyn family, 310 

Concentric castles, 375 

Cooking in castles, 359 

Corfe, 135, 363 



INDEX 



403 



Coucy, 65, 372 
Courcy, John de, 336 
Court hills, 310, 391 
Covington, 313 
Crail, 319 
Crimond, 311 
Crogen, battle of, 266 
Cromarty, 316 
Crometh, 335 
Cromwell, 220, 336 
Croom, 335 
Crossbow, the 370 
Cunningham family, 311 
Cupar, 320 
Cymmer, 299 
Cynewulf, murder of, 13 
Cynfael, 300 
Cyricbyrig, yj 

Dalswinton, 311 
Dane John, 116, 118, 121 
Danes in Ireland, 60 
Dangio, 75 

Danish raths, 48 ; camps, 61 ; col- 
onies, 59, 60 
Darnhall, 317 

David I. of Scotland, 123, 163, 303 
Deganwy, 259, 270 
Dernio, 267 
Derver, 341 
Dinan, 87 
Dinerth, 282 
Dinevor, 287, 394 
Dinweiler, 394 
Dirleton, 319 
Domfront keep, 361 
Donjons, 358, 390 
Douglas family, 312 
Dover, 138 ; church, 144 ; Pharos, 143 
Downpatrick, 335I 
Drogheda, 336 
Drumore, 315 
Drumsagard, 317 
Duchal, 315 
Dudley, 144 
Dudo of St Quentin, 76 
Duff us, 317 
Duleek, 337 



Dumfries, 320 
Dun, the word, 326 
Dunamase, 337 
Dungarvan, 337 
Dunio, 75 
Dunmullie, 311 
Dunoon, 313 
Dunskeath, 320 
Dunster, 145 
Durand, 312 
Durham, 146 
Durward, 312 
Dyfed, 274 

Earthworks, Committee, 2 

Eddisbury, 35 

Edward, 14-16, 45, 65, 127 

Edward the Martyr, 135 

Edwardian castles, 328, 345 

Egloe, Eulo, 271 

Elgin, 320 

Ellon, 311 

Ely, 149 

Entrances to keeps, 355, 361, 373 

Errol, 314 

Escluen, 332 

Etampes Castle, 373 

Ethelfleda, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 45, 232, 

342 
Eu, 56 

Eustace of Boulogne, 139 
Ewias, 150 

Exeter, 151 ; siege of, 154 
Eye, 155 

Falaise, 361-363 

Favorie, 338 

Ferns, 338 

Feudalism, 63, 66, 378, 379 ; in 

Normandy, 76 ; in Wales, 299, 378 ; 

in Scotland, 303 
Fireplaces, 357 
Fitz Alans, 179, 313 
Fitzhardinge, Robert, 104 
FitzOsbern, William, 108, 126, 128, 

150, 273 
Five Boroughs, the 44, 59 
Flambard, Ranulf, 172 



404 



INDEX 



Fleming family, 313 

Flint, 375 

Folk-moots, 381 

Fore, 338 

Forebuildings, 355, 361 

Forfar, 320 

Forres, 321 

Fortifications, Anglo-Saxon, 29, 64 ; 

Danish, 55, 61 ; wooden, 78 
Fotheret Onolan, 338 
French earthworks, 7 
Fulham, 55 
Fulk Nerra, 73, 74, 352 

Gaimar, Geoffrey, 171 

Gallo-Roman villas, 67 

Galtrim, 338 

Gatehouse keeps, 359 

Gatehouse palace, 375 

Geashill, 338 

Gemaron, 292 

Gephthine, 332, 

Gilling, 193, 194 

Gisors, 364 

Glamorgan, 276 

Gloucester, 156 

Godwin, Earl, 22, 24, 103 

Gomme, G. L., 8 

Gould, I. C, 2 

Gower, 277, 297 

Graham family, 314 

Granard, 338 

Greenwell, Canon, 2 

Guildford, 393 

Guisnes, 75, 76 

Gundulf, Bishop, 197, 198, 222 

Guy of Amiens, 139 

Gwyddgrug, 260 

Gwynedd, 256-262 

HASTEN the Dane, 49, 50 

Hall, the Anglo-Saxon, 17, 24, 168 

Hallaton Castle Hill, 88 

Hamilton family, 314 

Harold, Earl and King, 138, 161, 257 

Hastings, 87, 158 

Haughead Kipp, 317 

Haverfordwest, 280 



Hawarden, 377 

Hawick, 315 

Hay, 291 

Hay family, 314 

Hen Domen, 395 

Henry L, castles of, 360-364, 392 

Henry H., castles of, 365-369 

Henry the Fowler, 64 

Hericio, 388 

Hermitage Castle, 318 

Herring-bone work, 136, 168, 218 

Hincheleder, 339 

Hithes, 57 

Hodesley, Hoseley, 268 

Holywell, 267, 270 

Hubert de Burgh, 140 

Hugh of Avranches, 256, 257 

Humphrey's Castle, 283 

Huntingdon, 42, 162 

Hurdicia, 91, 372, 887 

Ida, King, 11 
Inchelefyre, 339 
Innermessan, 321 
Inverness, 321 
Inverugie, 310 
Inverwick, 313 
Irish chiefs, 325, 342 

Jedburgh, 321 
John, Bishop of Terouenne, 88 
John, King, 137, 370 n. i, 270 
Jomsborg, 59 

Karakitel, 339 

Keepless castles, 328, 374 

Keep and bailey, 357 

Keeps, arrangements in, 359, 391 ; 

polygonal, 368 ; prows to, 373 ; 

residences, 392 ; round, 368, 373 
Keeps of Henry I., 360, 363, 392 
Keeps of Henry II., 366 
Keeps of William I., 351, 354 
Kelts of Scotland, 304 
Kenardington, 50 
Kenfig, 295 
Kenmure, 308 
Kidwelly, 288 



INDEX 



405 



Kilbixie, 339 
Kilbride, 318 
Kilfeakle, 340 
Kilfinnane, 329 
Kilkea, 347 
Killamlun, 339 
Killare, 339 
Kilmaurs, 311 
Kilmehal, 340 
Kilmore, 340 
Kilsantan, 340 
Kiltinan, 340 
Kincleven, 321 
Kirkcudbright, 321 
Kirkintilloch, 311 
Kirkpatrick Durham, 312 
Kitchens in castles, 90 
Knighton, 293 
Knock, 341 
Knockgraffan, 341 

Lacy, Ilbert de, 187, 188 

337 
Lag Castle, 312 
Lagelachon, 341 
Lagmen, 62 

Lambert of Ardres, 75, 89 
Lanark, 321 
Langeais keep, 72, 353 
Laon, 72 
Largs, 317 
Laugharne, 288 
Launceston, 164 
Laurence of Durham, 147 
Law about castles, 377 
Lawhaden, 279 
Lea Castle, 341 
Lea River, 15, 52 
Lead roofs, 369 
Leighlin, 341 
Lennox, 315 
Leuchars, 318 
Lewes, 165 
Lincoln, 167 
Linton Roderick, 310 
Lismore, 342 
Llanarmon, 272 
Llandeilo Talybont, 298 



Llandovery, 286 
Llanegwad, 289 
Llangadog, 289, 394 
Llanrhystyd, 300 
Llanstephan, 286 
Lloyd, Professor, 253, 393 
Lochmaben, 309 
Lochorworth, 314 
Lockhart family, 315 
Logan family, 315 
London fortified, 14 
Loopholes, 362, 370, 371 ; cross loop- 
holes, 371 
Lords-marchers, 255 
Loske, 343 
Loughor, 298 
Louth, 342 
Louvre, the, 373 
Lovel family, 315 
Loxhindy, 343 
Ludgarsburh, 170 
Hugh de, Lumphanan, 312 

Lyle or Lisle family, 315 
Lympne, 15 

Mabudryd, 394 

Machicolations, 372 

Magh Adair, 327 

Maitland, Professor, 27 

Maldon, 41 

Manchester, 46 

Manors, Saxon, and mottes, 96 

Mans, Le, keep of, 361 

Masonry, 356, 362, 367 

Mathraval, 271 

Maud's Castle, 293, 394 

Maxton, 316 

Maxwell family, 316 

Melton, Archbishop, 248 

Melville family, 315 

Mercenaries, 7, 74 n. I 

Merchem Castle, 88 

Mersey Island, 54 

Military service, 64 

Milton, 49 

Missile engines, 369 

Mitford, 373 

Moffat, 309 



406 



INDEX 



Mold, 260 

Monmouth, 168 

Montacute, 169 

Montalt, 316 

Montgomeri, Roger de, 53, 98, 130, 

191, 263 ; Hugh de, 274 ; Arnolf, 

274, 278 ; castle, 264, 395 
Montgomerie family, Scotland, 316 
Moot-hills, 8, 9, 381 
Moray, colonisation of, 304 
Morpeth, 171 
Mortain, Count of, 106, 138, 164, 169, 

186 
Mortimers, 276 
Morville family, 316 
Mottes, described, 4, 5 ; the word, 

gn. I ; distribution, 80-82 ; situation, 

83-96 ; in France, 85 ; in Wales, 

301 ; in Scotland, 322 ; in Ireland, 

348 ; history, 72, 74 
Mowbray, Earl Robert, loi 
Mowbray family, 317 
Miiller, Dr Sophus, 6 
Mural towers, 358 
Murray family, 317 

Naas, 343 

Nantes Castle, 71 

Nant yr Arian, 284 

Narberth, 280 

Navan, 344 

Neath, 296 

Neckham, " De Utensilibus," 86 

Neilson, Mr George, 8, 306 

Neu Leiningen, 376 n. i 

Newcastle, 171 

Newcastle Bridgend, 295 

Newcastle Emlyn, 289 

New Grange, 10 

Newport, 279 

Nicetus, his castrum, 67 

Nicholas, St, no, 213 

Nobber, 344 

Normandy, 22, 76, 77 

Norman favourites, 23 

Norman walls, 356 

Normans, 7 

Norrei Castle, 77 



Northmen, camps of, 61, 383 
Norton, 293 
Norwich, 173, 363 
Nottingham, 44, 49, 57, 176 

O'DONOVAN, 329 

Offa's Dyke, 52 

Okehampton, 178 

Oldcastle, 347 

Old Sarum, 202 

Oliphant family, 317 

Orford, 246 n. 

Oswestry, 179 

Overton (Denbigh), 267 ; (Hereford), 

192 
Owen Gwynedd, 260, 270 
Oxford, 180 
Oxnam, 310 
Oystermouth, 298 

Pantolf, William, 213 

Parliamentary fortifications, 202 

Payn's Castle, 293, 395 

Peak, 182 

Pembroke, 278 

Pentecost's Castle, 24, 150 

Penwortham, 183 

Peterborough, 185 

Pevensey, 99, 186 

Pistes, Capitulary of, 68, 72 

Pitt-Rivers, General, 2 

Plinths, 355 

Polnoon, 316 

Pontefract, 187 ; siege of, 189 

Pont y Stuffan, 283 

Powys, 263-266 

Prestatyn, 270 

Preston Capes, 190 

Pretorium, 72 

Prisons in castles, 359 

Private castles, 21, 68 

Pudsey, Bishop, 173 

QUATBRIDGE, 58 

Quatford, 191 

Quincy, De, family, 318 

Radnor, 292 

Rainald the Sheriff, 263 



INDEX 



407 



Rapes of Sussex, 299 

Rathceltchair, 336 

Raths in Ireland, 325, 327 

Rathwire, 344 

Ratouth, 344 

Rayleigh, 191 

Reading, 54 

Redcastle, Lunan Bay, 309 

Reginald's Tower, 347, 348 

Remni, 297 

Renfrew, 313 

Retford, 55 

Rhaidr Gwy, 301 

Rhe Island, motte on, 350 

Rhuddlan, 257, 259 

Rhyd y Gors, 275, 284 

Rhys ap Griffith, 275, 287 

Riccarton, 319 

Richard Sans Peur, 76 

Richard I., 370-372 

Richard's Castle, 192 

Richmond, 193 

Robert Curthose, no 

Robert de Monte, 360 

Robert, Earl of Gloucester, 1 10, 295 

Robert Fitz Hamon, 277 

Robert of Rhuddlan, 257 

Roberton, 314 

Rochester, 25, 49, 195 

Rockingham, 201 

Roger the Poitevin, 129, 183, 184 

Rokerel, 345 

Rollo, 76 

Roscrea, 345 

Rosemarkie, 322 

Ross, 318 

Rouen, ']'] 

Runcorn, 38 

Ruthin, 269 

Ruthven, 311 

Sanquhar, 318 

Sarn Helen, 283 

Saumur Castle, 75 

Saxon fortifications, Chapters II., III., 

29 
Saxon royal seats, 151 n. 2, 235 
Scergeat, 33 



Sepulchral hillocks, 9 ; in Ireland, 327 

Shaftesbury, 15 

Shell keep, 99 

Sheppey Isle, 54 

Shoebury, 51 

Shrewsbury, 207 

Siege castles, 85 

Siegfried the Dane, 75 

Siward, Earl, 22 

Skipsea, 209 

Skreen, 345 

Slane, 345 

Somerville family, 318 

Somner, antiquary, 117 

Soulis family, 318 

Staff"ord, 34, 211 

Stamford, 44, 216 

Stanton, 217 

Stevenston, 315 

Stewarton, 318 

Swansea, 297 

Symington, 315 

Table of Boroughs, 26 

Talgarth, 292 

Tarn worth, 34, 218 

Tarbolton, 314 

Tateshall, 187 

Tempsford, 53 

Tenby, 280 

Terraces to mottes, 102 

Thanet, 54 

Thelwall, 46, 385 

Thetford, 55, 56 

Thibault-le-Tricheur, 74 

Thingwall, 381 

Thorne, 368 n. 3 

Thurles, 346 

Tibraghny, 346 

Tickhill, 219 

Tiles, use of, 255 

Timahoe, 346 

Tom-a-mhoid, 313 

Tomen y Mur, 262 

Tomen y Rhoddwy, 271, 272, 388 

Tonbridge, 220 

Toot Hill, 259 

Topcliffe, 5 n. 



? p. Q n r. ^ 

^ v> u U li • 



408 



INDEX 



Torkesey, 55, 56 
Totnes, 221 

Towcester, 41 

Tower of London, 221, 354, 355 

Towers to castles, 71 

Towns, fortification of, 65 

Trade, 30 

Trebuchet, 369 

Trematon, 226 

Tribalism, 64 

Trim, 346, 377 

Tristerdermot, 347 

Tullow, 335, 389 

Tutbury, 227 

Tynboeth, 293 

Tynemouth, 228 

Tynwald Hill, 381 

Typermesan, 347 

Valoignes family, 318 
Value of manors and towns, 96 
Vaulting, 362, 365, 367, 374 
Vaux family, 319 
Viking crews, 90 
Viollet le Due, 368 n. i 
Vire, keep, 361 
Voussoirs, 362 

Wales, Chapters VIII., IX.; Wales 
and Saxons, 253 ; Wales and Nor- 
mans, 254 

Wallace family, 319 

Wallingford, 28, 228 

Walwern, 301 

Wareham, 25, 28 

Warenne, Wm., 124, 165 

Wark, 366, 367, 368 n. 2, 388 

Warkworth, 377 



Warwick, 36, 280 

Wasta, 114 

Waterford, 347 

Water-supply, 362-363 

Watling Street, 16, 32, 382 

Waytemore Castle, 107 

Weardbyrig, 36 

Welsh halls, 251 

Welshpool, 265 

Wessex, 13 

Wexford, 348 

Wicklow, 348 

Wigingamere, 41 

Wigmore, 232 

William I., 22, 77 

William the Lion, 163, 305 

Willington, 57 

Winchester, 233 

Winding walks on mottes, 102, 121 

Windsor, 236 ; borough, 238 

Wisbeach, 239 

Wiston, 279 

Witham, 39 

Wolvesey Castle, 235 n. 4 

Wooden fortifications, 78, 208, 228, 

250, 306, 358, 359 
Worcester, 115, 23, 31, 240; charter, 

21 
Wrexham Castle, 268 



Yale Castle, 271, 300 
Year 1000, 78 
York, 13, 242 
York, Baile Hill, 248 
Ystrad Cyngen, 288 
Ystrad Meurig, 283 
Ystrad Peithyll, 282 



PRINTED BY OLIVER AND BOYDj EDINBURGH 



I 




Armitege, E.S, - The early Norman 
CflStles of the British Isles, 



I 



PONTIFICAL INSTITUTE 

OF MEDIAEVAL STUDIES 

bb queen's park 

Toronto 5. Canaca 



20567 ' 



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